Friday, December 02, 2005

Activist judges?

there are 680 district judgeships and 179 in the court of appeals. Now somebody straighten me out please. That's 859 judges plus the supreme court. these judges can only be appointed by the President of the United States.
now put that up against this:
Overall, in his four-plus years in office, Bush has pushed a Republican-leaning federal judiciary farther to the right with more than 200 appointments to appellate and district courts.His district court appointees have been "dramatically conservative but not off the board - not so bizarre that the other judges wouldn't know them or speak to them," said Robert A. Carp, a political scientist at the University of Houston who has studied the federal judiciary extensively. Bush's district appointees stand out as particularly conservative on civil liberties cases such as abortion, freedom of speech and gay rights, Carp found.On these matters, Bush's district judgeships were rated 28 percent liberal in Carp's study. That put them well to the right of jurists appointed by Presidents Nixon, at 38 percent, and Ford, at 40 percent, and slightly to the right of Reagan and the first President Bush, both of whom were rated 32 percent liberal.By the end of his second term, Bush could eclipse Presidents Clinton and Reagan in the number of judges selected - and leave an ideological imprint on the courts for generations to come.Since 1968, when Nixon was elected, Republican presidents have appointed 1,040 judges; Democrats have named 625. While many of the Bush appointees are replacing jurists named by previous Republican presidents, toward the end of his term Bush could have more opportunities to replace some of the Clinton judges, which would have even greater impact.The cumulative effect, said political scientist Donald Songer of the University of South Carolina, is that "the last three Republican presidents' nominees control virtually the whole judiciary."

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Robert Byrd said...
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