Bench Memos

Clinton’s Rubber Stamp

Among the most tiresome claims by Senate Democrats is they are forced to filibuster judicial nominees because Republican party discipline is so strong that even moderates must vote in lockstep for President Bush’s “worst” nominees. (John Bolton, call your office.) In rebuttal, Sen. Orrin Hatch’s office has done a nice breakdown of Democratic voting patterns during the Clinton years. Unsurprisingly, the party voted with their President.

The Senate confirmed 379 Clinton judges that fall in the “Article III” category, that is, judges who have life tenure.

• 307 to the U.S. District Court

• 65 to the U.S. Court of Appeals

• 2 to the U.S. Supreme Court

• 5 to the U.S. Court of International Trade.

The Senate defeated 1 nominee to the U.S. District Court

334 of the confirmations were by unanimous consent = 33,400 total votes

46 of the confirmations and the one defeat were by roll call vote = 4432 votes (less those not voting)

37,832 total votes cast on confirmation of Clinton Article III judicial nominees

A total of 12 NO votes were cast by Democrats

• Rosemary Barkett (11th Circuit, 1994): Byrd

• H. Lee Sarokin (3rd Circuit, 1994): Bryan (NV), Byrd, Ford (KY), Reid, Sasser (TN), Shelby (AL)

o Byrd and Reid also voted for cloture

• Brian Stewart (District Court, Utah, 1999): Boxer, Feingold, Johnson, Mikulski, Wellstone

12 no votes out of 37,832 judicial votes = .0317 percent

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