Professor Michael O'Neill helps ready the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and their aides for Supreme Court confirmation hearings
A New York Times article discussing preparations for the first confirmation hearings on a Supreme Court vacancy since the confirmation of Justice Stephen G. Breyer in 1994 cited the behind-the-scenes contributions of Professor Michael O'Neill, currently serving as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Out of Practice, Senate Crams for Battle Over Court Nominee, New York Times, July 8, 2005. By Sheryl Gay Stolberg.
"To help his colleagues prepare, Mr. Jensen's boss, Michael E. O'Neill, the committee's chief counsel, has developed a bibliography of required reading, including hearing transcripts dating back to Felix Frankfurter, nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. Mr. O'Neill, a former clerk to Justice Thomas who is on leave from his job as an associate law professor at George Mason University, counts himself a conservative, but his reading list is not.
It includes "The Federal Appointments Process," by Michael J. Gerhardt, a legal scholar who has advised Democrats, and "The People Rising," an account of the campaign to defeat the Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork. One of that book's authors, Michael Pertschuk, is a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Jimmy Carter who later led the effort against Mr. Bork.
The research is more than academic; it is being conducted with an eye toward strategy."