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Monday, April 25, 2005

Judges - The Truth in Pictures

Here is a nice graphical summary of the current obstruction going on in the Senate:

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The Constitutional Option should be invoked if the Dems won't play the game the way it has been played for...ever. No nominee has been indefinitely filibustered like this - EVER.

Hat Tip: Professor Bainbridge


  • I'm not sure which statistic is most significant. If Bush has simply nominated a significantly larger number of judges, which I believe to be the case, than the percentage may not matter much. How many of the judges have even been reviewed yet? What is the rate of approval, how long does it normally take, how many have been rejected?

    Everyone is data mining here.

    I've heard it claimed that the only reason Bush has nominated so many judges is because Republicans did such a good job blocking Clinton, leaving many vacancies. True? I don't know.

    By Blogger Mark, at 4/26/2005 07:21:00 PM  

  • I just noticed the far left side is actually 50%, not 0% like you might think. The difference between Bush and Clinton (the next lowest) appears to be 51% to 71% -- real, but not as bad as the graph makes it look.

    Gotta love statistics!

    By Blogger Mark, at 4/26/2005 07:25:00 PM  

  • Mark,
    I did notice the "break" in the graph. That's what we called a "USA Today graph" in one of my classes, which is meant to make the difference look bigger.

    The issue is the federal appellate courts. The Dems talk about "205 judges approved" and "95% confirmed", but of the appellate court judges, they have filbustered a full one-third. Priscilla Owens has been filibustered (that should be in quotes, since it is nothing of the sort) for FOUR years. That's a travesty. If she is so bad, they should be able to persuade others that she is and get her rejected.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 4/27/2005 10:37:00 AM  

  • I tried looking up some raw statistics, but could find anything good in the few minutes I gave it. Patric Leahy seems to have the best information from the Democratic angle here.

    Bush is anything but moderate, so I wouldn't necessarily be against the Democrats putting up the biggest judicial roadblock in history -- it may be the correct response, I don't know. However, I can't find any serious evidence they have, only competing cherry picked facts.

    The statement "If she is so bad, they should be able to persuade others that she is and get her rejected" is just plain wrong. That would be an argument against the filibuster itself.

    The Democrats have almost no power at all right now. I find it amazing the the Republicans whine so much about the tiny little power the Democrats do wield. Perhaps the correct response to all this would be to nominate more moderate but still conservative judges.

    By Blogger Mark, at 4/27/2005 04:43:00 PM  

  • I may have an idealized conception of the filibuster. I thought the idea was twofold: to demonstrate the power of your conviction, and change minds by dredging out all of the info that would have been covered up otherwise.

    No matter what happens with this, I think the travesty will be that the filibuster will continue to be used, by whatever party and whatever reason, without serious possibility of repercussion - because no one is debating on the floor endlessly and stopping the government. That is why the power was given to the minority - it had a price with it. The current filibuster method (which involves the minority leader saying, "we filibuster" and that's it) is always a winning plan for the minority party.

    Yeah, I know. Broken record.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 4/27/2005 11:39:00 PM  

  • There's nothing wrong with your ideal perception, it's just that perception should be of the '60 ayes to bring to vote' rule, not the filibuster itself. One could basically call the definition of a filibuster as 'abusing the bring-to-vote rule to prevent something from ever coming to vote'. That abuse has a long and proud tradition (he says half jokingly.)

    Note that to change the bring-to-vote rule the senate rules require a 67 super-majority. But they may change the rule anyway, because there are no checks and balances within the senate. All the rule keepers are Republicans. If fact, since the Republicans have determined they can just make up new rules whenever they feel like it, why deal with the filibuster rule at all, just bring the judges to vote because they say so! Who's going to stop them?

    All of this is over just 10 judges, right? Democrats wield the tiny little itsy-bitsy puny power they have to stop 10 judges and the Republicans are willing to break the rules to change the rules.


    By Blogger Mark, at 4/28/2005 03:36:00 PM  

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