Sheldon Goldman

Distinguished Professor, political science

Ongoing federal judicial confirmation battles, Obama's lower court judiciary, Politics of judicial selection and confirmation, Backgrounds and career paths of lower federal court judges, Politics of constitutional law and civil liberties

Phone: (o) 413/545-6179


Over the course of nearly 50 years at UMass Amherst, Sheldon Goldman has become one of the nation's top experts on the politics of judicial selection and confirmation, and is a frequent source for news media covering issues surrounding the judiciary.

In the 1960s, he was one of the first scholars who sought to expand traditional public law approaches to the study of the judiciary, and his research effectively shifted the focus of federal court scholarship from a singular examination of the Supreme Court to a broader and more inclusive study of Law and the Courts.  In the 1970s, Professor Goldman began a series of articles in Judicature on federal judicial selection -- a series which he continues to write to this day.

Goldman is the author of Picking Federal Judges, which was selected Outstanding Academic Book for 1998 by Choice Magazine and received Honorable Mention for the 1997 C. Herman Pritchett Award given by the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. He is recipient of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and Harvard Fellowship, and he has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, LBJ Foundation, Harry S. Truman Library Institute and the Ford Library, in addition to numerous University grants.