CATEGORIES
ARCHIVES
Look Who's Linking to PoliBlog:
3cx.org
Absinthe and Cookies
Accidental Verbosity
Admiral Quixote's Roundtable
All Day Permanent Red
All Things Jennifer
Ann Althouse
The American Mind
Arguing with signposts
Arms and influence
The Astute Blogger
Asymmeterical Information
Attaboy
augustus
B-Town Blog Boys
BabyTrollBlog
Backcountry Conservative
Balloon Juice
Bananas and Such Begging to Differ
The Bemusement Park
Benedict
Bewtween the Coasts
Betsy's Page
The Big Picture
BipolarBBSBlog
BIZBLOGGER
bLogicus
Blogs for Bush
The Blog of Daniel Sale
BoiFromTroy
Boots and Sabers
brykMantra
BushBlog
The Bully Pulpit
Cadillac Tight
Caffeinated Musing
California Yankee
Captain's Quarters
Chicago Report
Chicagoland of Confusion
Citizen Smash
Coldheartedtruth
Collected Thoughts
The Command Post
Common Sense and Wonder
Confessions Of A Political Junkie
The Conservative Philosopher
Conservative Revolution
Conservative and Right
Cranial Cavity
The Daily Lemon
Daly Thoughts
DANEgerus Weblog
Dart Frog on a Cactus
Dean's World Dear Free World
Brad DeLong
Democracy Project
DiVERSiONZ
The Disagreeable Conservative Curmudgeon
Down to the Piraeus
Drink this...
Earl's log
Earthly Passions
The Education Wonks
the evangelical outpost
exvigilare
Eye of the Storm
Feste
Filtrat
Firepower Forward
The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles
The Friendly Ghost
FringeBlog
Fruits and Votes
Functional, if not decorative
G-Blog.net
The Galvin Opinion
The Glittering Eye
Haight Speech
Half-Bakered
The Hedgehog Report
Heh. Indeed.
Hellblazer
Hennessy's View
High Desert Skeptic
The Hillary Project
History and Perceptions
Robert Holcomb
I love Jet Noise
Idlewild South
Incommunicado
Independent Thinker
Insults Unpunished
Interested-Participant
Internet Ronin
Ipse Dixit
It Can't Rain All The Time...
The Jay Blog
Jen Speaks
Joefish's Freshwater Blog
John Lemon
johnrpierce.info blog
Judicious Asininity
Jump In, The Water's Fine!
Just On The Other Side
KeepinItReal
A Knight's Blog
The Kudzu Files
LeatherPenguin
Let's Try Freedom
LibertarianJackass.com
Liberty Father
Life and Law
David Limbaugh
LittleBugler
Locke, or Demosthenes?
LostINto
Mad Minerva
Gary Manca
Mark the Pundit
Mediocre but Unexciting
memeorandum
Mental Hiccups
Miller's Time
Mind of Mog
Minorities For Bush
Mr. Hawaii
The Moderate Voice
The Modulator
Much Ado
Mungowitz End
My opinion counts
my thoughts, without the penny charge
My Word
mypetjawa
Naw
Neophyte Pundit
Neutiquam erro
New England Republican
NewsHawk Daily
neWs Round-Up
NixGuy.com
No Pundit Intended
Nobody asked me, but...
Obsidian Wings
Occam's Toothbrush
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
One Fine Jay
Out of Context
Outside the Beltway
Suman Palit
Parablemania
Passionate America
Brian Patton
Peaktalk
Pelicanpost
Peppermint Patty
Phlegma
John Pierce
PiratesCove
Politicalman
The Politicker
The Politburo Diktat
Political Annotation
Political Blog For The Politically Incorrect
Possumblog
Power Politics
Powerpundit.com
Practical Penumbra
Priorities & Frivolities ProfessorBainbridge.com
Prof. Blogger's Pontifications
Pros and Cons
protein wisdom
PunditFilter
Pundit Heads
QandO
The Queen of All Evil
Quotes, Thoughts, and other Ramblings
Ramblings' Journal
Random Acts of Kindness
Random Nuclear Strikes
Ranting Rationalist
Read My Lips
Reagan Country
Red State Diaries
Jay Reding.com
A Republican's Blog
Resource.full
The Review
Rhett Write
Right Side of the Rainbow
Right Wingin-It
Right Wing News
Right Voices
Rightward Reasonings
riting on the wall
robwestcott
Rooftop Report
RoguePundit
The Sake of Argument
Sailor in the Desert
Scrappleface
Secular Sermons
Sha Ka Ree
Shaking Spears
She Who Will Be Obeyed!
The Skeptician
The Skewed
Slant/Point.
Slobokan's Site O' Schtuff
small dead animals
Sneakeasy's Joint
SoCal Law Blog
A Solo Dialogue
Solomonia
Some Great Reward
Southern Musings
Speed of Thought...
Spin Killer
Matthew J. Stinson
A Stitch in Haste
Stop the ACLU
The Strange Political Road Trip of Jane Q. Public
The Strata-Sphere
Stuff about
Suman Palit
SwimFinsSF
Target Centermass
Templar Pundit
The Temporal Globe
Tex the Pontificator
Texas Native
think about it...
Tiger
Tobacco Road Fogey
Toner Mishap
Tony Talks Tech
The Trimblog
Truth. Quante-fied.
Twenty First Century Republican
Unlocked Wordhoard
Use The Forks!!
Ut Humiliter Opinor
Varifrank
VietPundit
Vista On Current Events
VodkaPundit
Vox Baby
Jeff Vreeland's Blog
Wall of Sleep
Weapons of Mass Discussion
Who Knew?
The Window Manager
Winning Again!
WizBang!
WizBang Tech
The World Around You
The Yin Blog
You Big Mouth, You!
Zygote-Design
al.com - Alabama Weblogs

AJC's 2004 Election Politics Sites and Blogs
Campaign Finance
Welcome to newcounterculture.com World O' Blogs
WRKO-AM's "Political Junkies" list
Yahoo! Directory Political Weblogs
Young Elephant

Who Links Here

Sunday, January 15, 2006
More on the Politics of Judicial Nominations
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 3:06 pm

From the same article as referenced in my previous post there is a discussion (and a graphic) about the fact that a majority of current federal judges, and overwhelming majority on SCOTUS, have been appointed by Republican Presidents:

Mr. Bush has now appointed one-quarter of the federal appeals court judges, and, assuming that Judge Alito is confirmed - the Judiciary Committee vote is expected to occur in the next 10 days - will have put two self-described conservatives on a Supreme Court that has only two members appointed by a Democratic president.

There is also the following chart:

However, none of this should be considered a major shock, given the fact that the GOP has been more successful at electing Presidents over the period under consideration. (The data from the chart in question comes from the web site of the Alliance for Justice, and this table).

First off, one would expect more recent Presidents to have the highest number of appointees. And, indeed, the President with the most appointees is President Clinton, whose appointments make up 39.1% of the federal bench. President Bush is second with 25.5%. Given age and such, one would expect that the most recent two-term president would have the highest number of appointees. One would expect that by the end of Bush’s 2 terms, that we would have numbers similar to Clinton’s.

Second, 90% of the federal judiciary as per the chart, have been appointed since the Reagan administration (there are still 25 Carter appointees, 4 Ford, 4 Nixon and 1 from Johnson on the bench). Given that from 1981-onward, there have been four full terms served by Republicans (plus the first year of W’s 2nd term) and two terms for a Democrat, the fact that Republicans have filled 55ish% of the federal judiciary isn’t all that surprising, and indeed hardly qualifies as a failure for Democrats.

The solution to influence the bench is clear: the Democrats need a two-term President to follow Bush.

In regards to the Supreme Court, we know that 7 of 9 are Republican nominees. The presidencies of relevance for the current Court are Ford to Bush. Of that period of time we have 6 terms (counting Ford’s partial term and Bush’s partial term to date) for Republicans and 3 terms for Democrats. So, controlling 67% of the terms during the period in question, the Republicans control 78% of the seats. Given the small sample size in question (9 seats) this does not strike me as especially out of sync. And, when one considers that in terms of ideological predilections that two of the Republicans (Stephens and Souter) tend to the liberal side of the equation, we see an ideological split that is roughly 5-4. Again, this is hardly a situation that could be considered failure from the Democratic POV (if we are being objective, that is). And along those lines I would again point to the analysis of Charles Franklin on Alito’s likely effect on the Court.

I would make a couple of final points:

  • As Stephens and Souter (or even Anthony Kennedy, or going back in time, Earl Warren) demonstrate, we really don’t know how a justices will behave over time-although I will grant that Alito seems to have a very clear record that would indicate his likely behavior in the future.
  • Even though Republicans have had the lion’s share of influence over the court, there is a feeling amongst conservatives that the courts are too liberal, and seemingly a feeling among liberals that the current judicial regime should be protected. If these things are both true, it may mean that, for whatever reason, Republican appointees aren’t as conservative as Democrats fear or as the Republicans Presidents who appointment them think they are.
  • Following on that last point: conservative justices are quite prone to respecting precedence and also less prone to being activists-as such, conservative judges may not be as “dangerous” as liberals think that they are.
  • Of course, much of the partisan and ideological hand-wringing may be the result of just counting to keep score without really analyzing what is going on.

2 Comments »

  1. […] se comments on the NYT piece that has worked out to be a big focus here at PoliBlog today (here and here). She makes several of the same points as did I: the solution for the Democrats is winning ele […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Althouse and the “Glum Democrats” — Sunday, January 15, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  2. Of course, much of the partisan and ideological hand-wringing may be the result of just counting to keep score without really analyzing what is going on.

    I think that’s really the crux of the issue. It does you no good as a party to say “well the other guys won, but so far they haven’t done any damage.”

    Comment by bryan — Sunday, January 15, 2006 @ 6:30 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

The trackback url for this post is: http://www.poliblogger.com/wp-trackback.php?p=9111

NOTE: I will delete any TrackBacks that do not actually link and refer to this post.

Leave a comment



Take a Look At This!
Inquiries
Blogroll


Visitors Since 2/15/03
---

PoliBlog is the Host site for:

A TTLB Community


Advertisement

College Athletics

Wealth Management

Discount Golf Gloves

Pain Medication

Paper Shredders

Advertisement


Powered by WordPress