Warring Factions focuses on the United States Senate’s confirmation process, the constitutional process the Senate uses to approve or reject the president’s choices to fill federal government positions. It is a book about history, the evolution, and, arguably, the decline of the process. Most significantly, it is a book that demonstrates the extent to which interest groups and money have transformed the Senate’s confirmation process into a virtual circus.
Based on in-depth research, including two dozen original interviews with United States senators, former senators and Senate staff members and interest group leaders, this volume demonstrates that today’s confirmation process is nothing more than an extension of the Senate’s legislative work. Changes to internal Senate norms in the 1960s and 1970s, coupled with changes to the external political environment, have allowed interest groups to dominate the Senate confirmation process.