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Posted at 5:44 PM ET, 12/14/2010

You know what's not working well?

By Ezra Klein

The judicial nominations process:

As the first congressional session of Obama's presidency draws to a close, what began as a slow process of confirmation has ballooned into a full-blown judicial crisis. The Senate has overseen the slowest pace of judicial staffing in at least a generation, with a paltry 39.8 percent of Obama's judges having been confirmed, according to numbers compiled by Senate Democrats. Of the 103 district and circuit court nominees, only 41 have been confirmed.

By this time in George W. Bush's presidency, the Senate had confirmed 76 percent of his nominees. President Clinton was working at a rate of 89 percent at this point in his tenure.

While the confirmation process is slower now (a function of a packed legislative calendar and Republican obstruction), Obama's nominating pace also lags behind his predecessors. His 103 total nominations compare to 142 by Clinton and 131 by Bush at this same juncture.

By Ezra Klein  | December 14, 2010; 5:44 PM ET
 
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Comments

"Obama's nominating pace also lags behind his predecessors."

Sucks. But it is def. caused by being blackballed by the Senate.

Yes - got to use the word blackballed in its real context!1!!1

@chris_gaun
chrisgaun@gmail.com

Posted by: chrisgaun | December 14, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Pathological, utter lies.

With just about 10 months left in his term, President George W. Bush is on track to leave office with fewer of his picks on the federal bench than his fellow two-term presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.

Since 2001, Bush has had 294 district and appellate judges confirmed, but the prospect of getting many more through a Senate controlled by Democrats before Jan. 20, 2009, are slim.

By comparison, Clinton and Reagan, both of whom faced similar congressional opposition in the twilight of their administrations, each left office with more than 370 of their candidates confirmed, according to Senate statistics. And Bush is running only marginally ahead of Jimmy Carter, who left office after a single term with 262 nominees confirmed.


The real problem? Democrats were generous with President Bush early in his term. But then Barack Obama became a Senator and they really, really stank up the joint.

This is the REAL record from 2007-2008.

President Bush had nominated 23 individuals to the U.S. courts of appeals during the 110th Congress, with the Senate having confirmed 10 of them, and with 3 withdrawn by the President.

10 out of 23. Great numbers, eh.

Posted by: krazen1211 | December 14, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

@krazen1211:
So by your definition, when the Dem's were in the minority for GWBush they didn't hold up nominations.
.
When they became the majority they started flexing their opinions.
.
The GOP on the other hand is clearly holding things up while in the minority.
.
A majority objecting is one thing, the minority imposing its will on the majority is quite another. This is the crux of the argument.

Posted by: rpixley220 | December 14, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans smell blood. They think Obama will be a one termer so why let him install judges for life? Just hold out another two years and those judgeships will be ours!!! Screw the people who need the courts to function!!!

Posted by: carlbezanson | December 14, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

At what point will it be OK officially call Harry Reid the world'd worst Senate leader of all time? Having presided over this bunch with a 58-member caucus and have this much trouble passing legislation and confirmation is pathetic.

Posted by: kromerm | December 15, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

"So by your definition, when the Dem's were in the minority for GWBush they didn't hold up nominations.
.
When they became the majority they started flexing their opinions.
.
The GOP on the other hand is clearly holding things up while in the minority.
.
A majority objecting is one thing, the minority imposing its will on the majority is quite another. This is the crux of the argument."


Revisionist history. Question for you.

1. Who held a majority of the Senate in 2006?
2. Who was the first US President, Vice President, and Secretary of State in recent history to try to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee that had majority support of the US Senate?

Posted by: krazen1211 | December 15, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"When they became the majority they started flexing their opinions.
.
The GOP on the other hand is clearly holding things up while in the minority.
.
A majority objecting is one thing, the minority imposing its will on the majority is quite another. This is the crux of the argument."

I might add: Every single Bush judicial nominee of 2007-2008 had the support of all 49 Republicans and Ben Nelson. That's 50, plus Cheney = 51, if they had gotten an up or down vote. But of course the Democrats didn't allow that.

So, no, its not a majority objecting at all. It was actually Pat Leahy and Harry Reid intentionally slow walking Bush nominees.

Posted by: krazen1211 | December 15, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

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