April 17, 2005


Judges Battle Transcends Numbers (David G. Savage, April 17, 2005, LA Times)

The looming battle over President Bush's nominees to the U.S. appeals courts might derail the Senate, but it probably won't make much difference in the federal courts. That's because Republican appointees already dominate them.

Ninety-four of the 162 active judges now on the U.S. Court of Appeals were chosen by Republican presidents. On 10 of the 13 circuit courts, Republican appointees have a clear majority. And, since 1976, at least seven of the nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court have been filled by Republican appointees. [...]

The fight may have more to do with the kind of Republican who joins the courts, in particular the Supreme Court. While Democrats are determined to block judicial nominees they see as conservative ideologues, the Republican leadership pushes for right-leaning judges.

Under the Constitution, the president's judicial nominees need only a majority vote in the Senate to be confirmed. However, under the Senate's rules, it takes 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to cut off debate, breaking a filibuster.

Can't be that hard for Senate Republicans to explain that filibustering judges is anticonstitutional.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 17, 2005 6:38 AM

Virtually every single judge appointed by a Democrat has been a down-the-line liberal and at least a borderline traitor. Many GOP appointees, especially under Nixon, Ford and Old Bush, are no better.

Why not end the nonsense and have an elected judiciary, with terms of service?

Posted by: bart at April 17, 2005 2:23 PM

Actually, I think it's proper to call it non-constitutional, since the parlamentary rules for running the House or Senate are set by those bodies themselves per the constitution.

Everyone agrees to the principle that everyone should say their piece before voting. The filibuster is a means to stop the majority from voting by the minority, which is a perversion of the rules.

Posted by: Ptah at April 17, 2005 6:54 PM