Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Presidential Election May Transform Federal Courts

Election's Outcome Could Have Seismic Effect On Federal Courts is an important Oct. 24, 2008 National Law Journal article. Currently, Republicans have appointed more than half the federal judges, but that number (which is not specified) can jump to 74% with a McCain win and to a 56% Democratic majority if Obama wins. As the article states:

Republican Presidents have appointed more than half of the current 179 federal appellate judges, but that could rise dramatically to 74% if Senator John McCain wins the presidency, or give Democrats a 56% majority in appointments if Senator Barack Obama prevails, according to a Brookings Institution report issued on Wednesday.

In addition, the report by Russell Wheeler at Brookings, predicts that in four years of an Obama presidency, his appointments could shift Republican dominance on 10 of 11 circuits, to give Democrat appointees a majority in seven circuit courts. Currently, of the 11 circuit courts, only the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has a slight majority of Democrat-appointed judges.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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