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« This Monkey Is Neutral | Main | What Corbyn's performance means »

Playing different games


Trump has nominated 22 judges to fill vacancies across the federal bench... Judicial nominations are the one area where the Trump administration is "running like a fine-tuned machine," as the president boasted in February. In fact, Trump's team has far outstripped the efforts of his predecessor. By this date eight years ago, President Obama had made just four judicial nominations...

...like other Democratic presidents since Carter, Obama set a tougher bar for himself: He interpreted the Senate confirmation rules to mean that he had to achieve widespread support for all of his nominees. Responding to criticism about the slow pace of nominations (criticism which was persistent throughout the first term), Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt insisted in 2009 that "this process has been bipartisan and we have made every effort to make confirmation wars a thing of the past."

That gets to the real difference between Democrats and Republicans on the judiciary. Republicans see appointing rigidly conservative judges as a central part of their policy strategy. Obama, like Bill Clinton before him, used judicial nominations as an opportunity for bipartisan comity.

It's worth noting that the point above is just about nominations, which means that the obstruction that Obama faced from Republicans isn't an excuse. But Republicans are also better at getting their nominations confirmed. Refresh yourself with my post about Blue Slips and then read DDay's whole article.

By fnord12 | June 9, 2017, 10:37 AM | Liberal Outrage