Sunday, February 14, 2016

Last July: GOP Blocks Dozens of Obama Court Picks

This Politico article from last July offers some interesting perspective, Judge not: GOP blocks dozens of Obama court picks. I'd look to see if more progress has been made since then, but I expect I'll see articles on the topic in the coming week.

Republicans say statistics show that Obama is receiving comparable treatment to Bush. So far, Obama has gotten 311 judges installed nationwide — compared with 276 for Bush at the same point in his presidency.

And while Democrats boast that they had confirmed 21 judges at this point in 2007, Republicans noted that 13 of them had been awaiting floor consideration the previous year. In contrast, Democrats confirmed 27 judges during the lame-duck session late last year before Republicans took over.

“We’re trying to move them at about the same speed as the Democrats did when they took over the Senate the last two years of the Bush administration,” said Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). He said the Thurmond Rule “won’t be in effect until next summer.”

I guess summer starts in February.

The Democratic majority confirmed 68 district and circuit court nominees during Bush’s final two years, a mark that won’t be matched during this president’s final two years unless McConnell, Grassley and even Obama reprioritize the federal bench. And even that comparably torrid pace in 2007 and 2008 lags behind the confirmation rates of the final two years in office of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

It's funny to see the party of the unitary executive theory say the president shouldn't nominate a justice to a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roberts for several years has been begging Congress and the President to fill vacant federal seats to alleviate the strain on the courts. It will be interesting to see if he weighs in.

Here's another good article, How Obama Transformed the Federal Judiciary by Jeffrey Tobin from October 2014.

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