President Bush's three recent Supreme Court nominations reveal the complications and motives involved when politicians choose the nation's top judges, legal observers say. With Justice Sandra Day O'Connor set to retire months after the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, many interest groups expect -- and demand -- that their replacements reflect political concerns.
Political science professor David Yalof is an expert on the history and evolution of the Supreme Court nomination process. In January, Senate hearings to confirm Samuel Alito begin. Yalof is a University of Connecticut professor and the author of Pursuit of Justices: Presidential Politics and the Selection of Supreme Court Nominees.