September 14, 2010

"Not backing down... President Obama has formally renominated five judges whose candidacies were previously derailed by Senate Republicans."

Sam Stein reports. (Is "reports' the right word?)
Obama's decision to renominate these figures demonstrates that the White House is not just willing, but eager to spotlight the remarkably slow pace of its judicial confirmations...

The administration has been left largely powerless to move Senate Republicans, save for somewhat-idle threats to keep Congress in session while individual nominations are debated. But they are finding more and more allies in their frustration from prominent judicial and political figures. On Monday, the American Constitution Society began circulating a letter signed by a group of former federal court judges appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents, urging the Senate to take immediate action on languishing nominations.
Former federal court judges appointed by... Republican presidents? Surely, this is impressively neutral support for the President...  or so I will believe when we have a Republican President facing foot-dragging Democratic Senators and there's an equivalent letter signed by former federal court judges appointed by  Democratic Presidents.

28 comments:

traditionalguy said...

No one cares what Obama does anymore. That is one way of shutting down a government that is attacking America in worse ways than any Moslem attack has ever done. We need a leader in the Presidency that guards America from harm instead of being the source of the harm. In the meantime, shut her down.

Drew said...

Why do I read this as "Hurry up! While we still control Congress!!"

jr565 said...

No he won't back down
He's gonna stand his ground
They can stand him up at the gates of hell but he wont
back down.
He's going to stand his ground
won't be turned around
And he'll keep this world from draggin him down
gonna stand his ground
... and he won't back down

Michael said...

He won't back down, because like the Whale Wars guys on SouthPark he is a badass.

Scott M said...

He won't back down, because like the Whale Wars guys on SouthPark he is a badass.

What part of Captain Kickass do his detractors not understand?

garage mahal said...

Former federal court judges appointed by... Republican presidents?

It says right in the body you pasted.

...a letter signed by a group of former federal court judges appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents...

Widmerpool said...

Garage,

The point is the hypocrisy. No one in these nomination battles (Repub or Dem) does the noble, wonderful, right thing (or urges others to do it) except when it favors their nominee.

ndspinelli said...

All of this horseshit started w/ Bork and just keeps getting more ludicrous. You can look long and hard to find a group more petty and non-judicial than attorneys...of both stripes.

Stephen said...

The figures don't lie, Professor Althouse. Obama's judicial appointments are being approved at a rate about 50% lower than for any prior president since the 70's, including Bush II. That's a huge difference, particularly when you consider that prior figures included situations where the opposing party controlled the Senate. Why are so you unwilling to consider the possibility that the Senate partisanship on the Republican side might be a wee bit excessive and destructive?

AlphaLiberal said...

Not one for the facts, are you, Ann? Do you even care if there is a historically huge backlog of judicial appointments awaiting confirmation that is affecting the ability of American courts to operate?

This is Republicans interfering with justice because they refuse to accept the results of elections when they don't win.

Unprecedented. So-called law professor Althouse doesn't give damn, only for the partisan sniping opportunity.

AlphaLiberal said...

Dahlia Lithwick had more to say about this "national judicial disaster or the global war on the judiciary."

"Justice Anthony Kennedy warned in August that the rule of law itself is "imperiled" if we are willing to sacrifice judicial excellence to partisan politics."

http://www.slate.com/id/2265766/

It is very odd to see a law professor so blase about such a problem. Almost as if she couldn't care less about the law and justice, only partisan fighting.

AlphaLiberal said...

Nominations confirmed:

111th Congress: 11 Circuit Court, 30 District Court
110th Congress: 10 Circuit Court, 58 District Court (2007-08)
109th Congress: 16 Circuit Court, 35 District Court
108th Congress: 18 Circuit Court, 85 District Court
107th Congress 17 Circuit Court, 83 District Court (2001-2002)


Dems were very cooperative to Bush, especially in his first term.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

“facts” OK, facts...the Republicans can't stop anything...they only have 41 votes in the Senate. Until December 2009 they only had 40...The Democrats had a filibuster proof majority and now still have a fairly safe majority, Brown, Collins, and Snowe are hardly “Right wing Extremists.” Obama's problems aren't REPUBLICANS, it's Democrats...who don't want to talk about judicial philosophies so close to election time.

Alpha and the like good talking points, blame the Rethuglikkans, but the problem is on YOUR side of the aisle.

AlphaLiberal said...

"By way of historical comparison, Obama has seen only 47 percent of his nominees confirmed, compared to 59 percent for George Bush, 67 percent for Bill Clinton, and 83 percent for George H.W. Bush."

Who cares about the nation, right? Long as you do your political damage.

Joe:
"the Republicans can't stop anything...they only have 41 votes in the Senate. "

That's a dumb statement. Apparently you have not heard of the filibuster, which is now at historically unprecedented levels, or holds or many of the other arcane rules giving the minority great power (which comes with great, but abandoned responsibility) in the US Senate.

Feh.

AlphaLiberal said...

Given these figures and the never-before-seen obstruction, the courts are still very Republican.

Republicans refuse to allow government to operate if they are not in power, and they don't care what the voters decide.

This is a preview for the government shutdowns we will see if the Republicans get control of one chamber.

Republicans really, truly, do not believe in the American system of government.

Drew said...

This is a preview for the government shutdowns we will see if the Republicans get control of one chamber.

YAY!

jr565 said...

Alpha Liberal,
47% means that almost half of his judges are appointed. It's kind of hard to stand here and say repubs are blocking govt action considering that. Talk to me when 10% of a presidents judges are confirmed. To put it in context suppose there were a hundred judges up for confirmation. Obama got 47 confirmed and Bush got 59 confirmed. The difference of 12 judges isn't all that much.
And I don't remember your side complaining about the fillibuster when dems were fillibustering Bush's appointments. What was the whole gang of 14 about again?

dbp said...

AlphaLiberal said...

Republicans really, truly, do not believe in the American system of government.

The system of government we have is the American system of government. Republicans are working within the rules--if there is any change, it is of degree not type.

Another aspect left ignored is the quality of the nominees. Maybe fewer are getting through because they are more radical than the ones Bill Clinton put forward. I am not BTW saying this is so, only stating that it is a formal possibility.

Scott M said...

I am not BTW saying this is so, only stating that it is a formal possibility.

What does an informal possibility look like? A drunk chick in a bath robe?

hombre said...

A.L. wrote: Republicans really, truly, do not believe in the American system of government.

Perhaps they believe in a government based upon the Constitution and not one based on the whims of lefty judges and their ideological masters.

Most of us see judges as arbiters of the law. Secular progressives see them as instruments of conquest. The Republicans are probably aligned with "most of us" on this one and are using the "American system of government" to enforce the public's will in the matter.

Comrade X said...

This is a preview for the government shutdowns we will see if the Republicans get control of one chamber.

I wonder how long the government would have to shutdown to get the economy going again. I think 6 months might do it.

FloridaSteve said...

What a lovely plate of judicial red meat for the Republicans to snack on. Considering Obama's approval ratings on basically everything.. NOT smart.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So 5 filibustered nominees are a judicial crisis.

I assume that the 17 that are waiting for action on the Democrat controlled Senate floor are not part of the crisis. Nor the 22 that are still in the Democrat controlled committee. Nor the 65 vacancies for which Obama has not even nominated anyone?

Scott M said...

I assume that the 17 that are waiting for action on the Democrat controlled Senate floor are not part of the crisis. Nor the 22 that are still in the Democrat controlled committee. Nor the 65 vacancies for which Obama has not even nominated anyone?

I'd say not having a a budget passed when one party controls the two branches of government that, you know, GOVERN the process is far more critical and a far larger crisis. Maybe those lobbing un-Americanisms should care more about the politicking behind not passing a budget than judicial nominees.

BJM said...

@FloridaSteve

My thought too...another forced error from a hamfisted, tone deaf WH.

BJM said...

A brazen admisssion in Roger Simon's Politico column:

“It is going to be hard for the Republicans to claim a massive revival of their party if they win only one house,” a senior member of Team Obama told me. “And if we win the House by only one seat, the media will call it a Democratic victory.”

The WH doesn't even bother to keep up a pretense that the media isn't in the bag for Obama.

Scott M said...

“It is going to be hard for the Republicans to claim a massive revival of their party if they win only one house,” a senior member of Team Obama told me. “And if we win the House by only one seat, the media will call it a Democratic victory.”

I've seen goalposts at bowl games moved less violently.

Montagne Montaigne said...

I guess you have a long time to wait, Anne. Siz years at least, maybe ten. Won't you be dead by then?