Saturday, October 17, 2009

Obama is criticized and praised for his federal judicial appointments

A Washington Post article outlines criticism of President Obama based on the slow rate of judicial appointments.  In his first nine months in office, Obama has appointed 23 judges; Bush had appointed 95 during that same period in his presidency.  In addition, only 3 of Obama's 23 judicial picks has been confirmed.  The Post article posits that Obama's desire to ease partisan fights over judicial nominees has led to a failure to advocate strongly enough on behalf of his nominees against Republicans. Meanwhile, about 90 judicial seats remain empty (that is about 10% of the total).

In addition, Carl Tobias posted an essay in the National Law Journal praising Obama for increasing diversity in the federal court through his nominations. Tobias says:

Obama has adopted measures that will increase ethnic and gender diversity, as manifested in his judicial nominations to date. Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the classic example. Moreover, his 10 appeals court nominees include three African-Americans, one Asian-American and four women, while his 10 district court nominees include four African-Americans, three Asian-Americans, one Latino and four women.


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