Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Republicans, All Wrong, All the Time, Pt 18 - The Over-Reaching Liberal Activist Judiciary

A cherished right wing myth is that the the Federal Judiciary is liberally biased, and that liberal judges are activists who undercut the U.S. Constitution with judge-made law.

I did a Google search to try to determine the political make up of the Federal Judiciary.  All I could come up with was this, as a click through from somebody else who couldn't come up with much back in 2007.

It's pretty dated, with a 4/25/04 stamp.  But since then we've had the second term of Bush the lesser, and little could have happened to skew things leftward.

Here is a salient quote from the link.  Remember, it's from '04.

Of the nine current members of the Supreme Court, seven were appointed by Republicans. In the last thirty-five years (since 1969) there have been thirteen appointments to the Supreme Court. Republican Presidents have made eleven of those appointments while Democratic Presidents have made two.

At the Circuit Court of Appeals level, the pattern remains the same. Since 1969, Republican Presidents have appointed 211 Judges to the Circuit Courts. Democrats have appointed 122. Since 1969, Republican Presidents have appointed 813 trial Judges to the District Court bench while Democrats have made 508 such appointments.
If the Federal Judiciary is comprised of a bunch of liberal activists, it is the GOP who put them there.

But, of course, the GOP would not put them there.  Repug presidents since Reagan (actually, since Nixon)  have nominated only those judicial candidates who can pass a right-wing ideology litmus test, irrespective of qualifications, or a blatent lack thereof.  There is no other way to account for the presence of a 2nd rate light-weight like Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, or the nominations of Robert Bork, a man whose right-wingery bordered on Rand Paul style insanity, and Nixon's back-to-back race-baiting southern failures,  Clement Haynsworth of South Carolina and G. Harrold Carswell of Florida.   Of the latter, conservatard Nebraska senatorial nitwit Roman Hruska uttered this infamous bit of flattery: "Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers, and they are entitled to a little representation, aren't they? "  More recently, the Bush II nominations, of course, speak for themselves - and for Thomas, who seldom utters even a grunt.

In contrast, Clinton's appointments were not only centrists, but serious contenders with impressive resumes.  Not a single Harriet Meyers in the bunch.  This is true also, of current President B. Hoover Obama.

But this is always what you get from the right: a world view dominated by fantasies and assumptions, seasoned with large doses of unjustified anger, bitterness, and - on a good day - mediocrity.

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