Capitol gridlock: Berkeley Law prof charts rise in failed nominations

As a high school student in suburban Washington, D.C., Anne Joseph O’Connell “became fascinated” with the Washington Post’s federal page, writes Andrew Cohen on the Berkeley Law website. The page marked the comings and goings of government leaders, and ignited an interest that resonates today.

Anne Joseph O'Connell

Anne Joseph O’Connell

Now a Berkeley Law professor, O’Connell again keeps a watchful eye on federal employees, and what she sees concerns her. A leading authority on federal agencies, O’Connell has been tracking the sharp increase of failed nominations and delayed confirmations across recent presidential administrations—and the impact it has on the workings of government.

President Obama’s nomination failure rate — nominations that were not returned to him or were withdrawn — was 28 percent through 2014, much higher than the 17 percent failure rate for President George H.W. Bush. The average confirmation time in Obama’s administration has been 127.2 days, more than twice as long as President Reagan’s nominees.

Her latest research, captured in an eye-opening Duke Law Journal article, is generating significant buzz in policy and academic circles, Cohen writes.

Read his report, “Capitol Gridlock: Anne Joseph O’Connell Tracks Spike in Failed Nominations and Delayed Confirmations,”
on the Berkeley Law website.