President Obama has nominated a much more diverse set of judges to the Federal Courts than any of his predecessors. Of course, that has resulted in Republicans fillebustering a higher percentage of his nominees and preventing the confirmation of qualified nominees. Obama has had fewer nominees confirmed than any recent President.
Percentage of Nominees Confirmed By President Since Carter
Now, Bush stacked the court with 322 far right wing sycophants, reactionary ideologues, and extremist right wing appointments, resulting in a Federal Judicial System and Supreme Court more hostile to minorities and Civil Rights than at any time since Dred Scott. Indeed, the financial association between Bush Supreme Court appointments and right wing financiers such as the Koch brothers have led many to believe the Supreme Court of the United States has been corrupted, by corrupt right wing judges. Of course an Obama Administration too cowardly to prosecute Dick Cheney’s war profiteers and torturers, isn’t likely to take on the job of prosecuting a corrupt Supreme Court judge – even if he is caught red-handed taking a $500,000 bribe through his wife.
Undeniably, the fact that President Obama has nominated more women and minorities is also difficult for Republicans to swallow, with the confirmation of minorities taking nearly twice as long as their white, male counterparts.
I think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is fully justified in exercising ”the Nuclear Option”, and should do so ASAP.
President Barack Obama is moving at a historic pace to try to diversify the nation’s federal judiciary: Nearly three of every four people he has gotten confirmed to the federal bench are women or minorities. He is the first president who hasn’t selected a majority of white males for lifetime judgeships.
More than 70 percent of Obama’s confirmed judicial nominees during his first two years were “non-traditional,” or nominees who were not white males. That far exceeds the percentages in the two-term administrations of Bill Clinton (48.1 percent) and George W. Bush (32.9 percent), according to Sheldon Goldman, author of the authoritative book “Picking Federal Judges.”
“It is an absolutely remarkable diversity achievement,” said Goldman, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who is only counting judges once, even if they fit more than one category.
The White House recently has been touting its efforts to diversify the federal bench during Obama’s tenure, now approaching three years in office.
The president won Senate confirmation of the first Latina to the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. And with the confirmation of Justice Elena Kagan, he increased the number of women on the high court to three for the first time. The Obama administration also nominated and won confirmation of the first openly gay man to a federal judgeship: former Clinton administration official J. Paul Oetken, to an opening in New York City.
“All of us can be proud of President Obama for taking this critical step to break down another barrier and increase diversity in the federal judiciary,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said upon Oetken’s confirmation. (more…)
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