Obama Has Nominated 60% Fewer Judges than Bush
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 08:38:38 AM EST
The New York Times' Charlie Savage passes on some numbers:
President Obama has sent the Senate far fewer judicial nominations than former President George W. Bush did in his first 10 months in office, deflating the hopes of liberals that the White House would move quickly to reshape the federal judiciary after eight years of Republican appointments.
Mr. Bush, who made it an early goal to push conservatives into the judicial pipeline and left a strong stamp on the courts, had already nominated 28 appellate and 36 district candidates at a comparable point in his tenure. By contrast, Mr. Obama has offered 12 nominations to appeals courts and 14 to district courts.
By this point in 2001, the Senate had confirmed five of Mr. Bush's appellate judges -- although one was a Clinton pick whom Mr. Bush had renominated -- and 13 of his district judges. By contrast, Mr. Obama has received Senate approval of just two appellate and four district judges.
These numbers aren't as bad as they were in September, when Barack Obama had only nominated 17 judges to the 52 nominated by George W. Bush to that point in his Presidency, and when the only nominee to have made it through the Senate was now Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor -- but they're still aren't great. And with the shakeup in the office of White House Counsel, which is tasked with running the judicial nomination process, these numbers aren't likely to get better soon. Then again, incoming Counsel Bob Bauer, whom I have had the pleasure of working with, is tenacious and indefatigable, and, as Rick Hasen put it, has "an apparently unlimited supply of energy and intellectual curiosity," so I would not be at all surprised to see these numbers improve greatly in the coming months.