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"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." James Madison, "Father of the Constitution;" President of the United States, 1809-1817

 

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January 2002

Bush's Judicial Nomination Record:
Nomination Statistics for 2001

The statistics concerning judicial nominations during the 2001 session of the U. S. Senate hardly support the Democrats' claim of bipartisanship in handling President Bush's nomination. But these numbers also suggest a lack of consistent, persuasive effort on the part of either the White House or GOP Senate leaders to promote Senate action. Consider the following numbers for 2001.

No. of Bush
Nominees
No.
Confirmed
%
Confirmed
Vacancies
Remaining
64
28
43
96

This picture comes into clearer focus when the allocation of vacancies is examined. Most of the confirmations have come in the lesser important district courts, and fewer in the increasingly powerful courts of appeals:

No. of Bush
Nominees
No.
Confirmed
%
Confirmed
Vacancies
Remaining
District
Courts
36
22
61
66
Courts of
Appeals
28
6
21
30

It is also most informative to analyze the amount of time which the Senate has taken to consider judicial nominees. President Bush made his first 11 nominations on May 9, 2001. Only three of these 11 have had a Judiciary Committee hearing. Indeed, of the approximately three dozen Bush nominees still awaiting Senate action, 31 have not even had a hearing. Exacerbating the situation is the fact that Bush has sent his judicial nominations to the Senate in an unusual expeditious manner. The following data show this:

Date that President submitted his first judicial nominations to the Senate:

Reagan — 7/9
Bush, I — 8/4
Clinton — 8/6
Bush, II — 5/9

Despite President Bush's speedy action in nominating judicial candidates, the Senate fell far short of past Senates' levels of action when one considers the confirmation rates for the first year of presidential terms over the past 20 years:

Reagan — 91%
Bush, I — 62%
Clinton — 57%
Bush, II — 43%

The bottom line of the Senate's dalliance with crucial judicial vacancies during 2001 is that the percentage of federal judges appointed by more activist/liberal presidents is steadily rising, as evidenced by the percentage of currently active judges categorized by appointing presidents:

Bush, II — 3.7%
Clinton — 47.4%
Bush, I — 21.6%
Reagan — 20%
Carter — 5.5%

In other words, only 45.3% of active judges today were named by GOP (i.e., supposedly retraintist/conservative) presidents, while 52.9% were nominated by Democrat (i.e., supposedly activist/liberal) presidents.