NLJ on Judicial Vacancies

The National Law Journal reports on the rising tensions over federal judicial vacancies and pending Bush nominees.

Republican senators are anxious about 28 judicial nominees awaiting confirmation, the 46 total vacancies and the dwindling time left in President Bush’s term to get more of his candidates on the federal bench.

Of the 28 nominees waiting approval by the Senate, 10 are appellate court nominees and 18 are trial court selections.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in particular, is in the political crosshairs. With five of its 15 seats vacant and the current members of the court divided evenly with five Republican and five Democratic appointees, the president who fills those vacancies could shift the philosophical balance of the court.

As the article makes clear, Senate Democrats are confirming Bush’s appellate nominees at a slower rate than has been done in the past.

Bush confirmations lag behind the totals of his predecessors. He has had 298 judges confirmed so far in his two terms in office, including two Supreme Court justices, while Bill Clinton had 378 judges confirmed, which is second in history to President Ronald Reagan’s 389 judges.

The article also reports that recent deals may enable more nominees to go through. Yet for the reasons Gerard Bradley notes below, this is looking increasingly less likely.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More