Since WWII there has been a profound shift in power away from legislatures and toward courts and other legal institutions around the world. It is no surprise that appointments to both the US Supreme Court and to other federal courts have become partisan political issues. Ferejohn argues that what is at stake, institutionally, is the allocation of legislative power--the power to establish general rules of prospective application.
Judicializing Politics, Politicizing Law,
65 Law and Contemporary Problems
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/lcp/vol65/iss3/3