Some useful facts

[Via Balloon Juice]

I’ve stayed away from the topic of judicial confirmation because I didn’t know if Republicans were truly being obstructionist about this from a historical perspective. Well, they are:

It is part of a trend, but the jump from Bush to Obama is quite striking, given that Democrats have a large majority under Obama, whereas Republicans had no majority during the first year of Bush:

Similarly, the Alliance for Justice found that in Obama’s first year in office, the Senate confirmed a mere 23 percent of his judicial nominees. By contrast, presidents Carter and Reagan had 91 percent of their nominees confirmed in their first year. That number dropped to 65 percent for George H.W. Bush, 57 percent for Bill Clinton, and 44 percent for George W. Bush.


Perhaps one reason the Federal government has not been performing some of its duties resides in the fact that almost half as many of Obama’s appointees have been confirmed than as any other recent President.

Even George W. Bush, who had a Democratic Senate his two years, had twice the level of judicial confirmations than Obama has been allowed.

This is taking Advice and Consent way too far. I expect it to only get worse since there is no penalty apparently for doing this.

2 thoughts on “Some useful facts

  1. I would hope this kind of behavior would not be rewarded, but I believe it comes from two factors: lazy voters and hyper-partisan media. If nominations are discussed in media, it is from the perspective of the President’s failure to get them through, painted with broad ideological brushes. Rarely are the real issues discussed. A Senator might put a hold on a nomination for some reason, and discover that they can get away with it because no one is paying attention. Obstructionism is being rewarded to a degree because of the hyper-partisan nature of our debates and our governance. Voters have too many important things to worry about, like getting a job and making sure their kids are doing well in school. The phone calls to Congressmen or the letters that might discourage the holds are just not happening.

    1. I would agree that it is an indication of the dysfunctional nature of the legislature, especially the Senate. Reminds me of the histories of the last Days of the Senate in the Roman Republic. More and more people look to the Executive branch to do something, eventually getting a tyrant.

      No matter how good a person is, giving them too much power is not good. But the Unitary Executive seems to be where we are going.

      hat happened to the days when any Senator thought they were more important than a President?

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