How Obama Is Remaking Federal Courts in One Chart

This liberal legacy is one our country will be hard pressed to recover from.
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President Obama and his supporters constantly claim that Senate Republicans are being “obstructionist” and preventing the confirmation of his federal court nominees. If you look at the facts, however, Obama’s confirmation record is higher than the last three Presidents—even though he hasn’t made judicial nominations a priority.

As economist John Lott points out, 85 percent of Obama’s first-time circuit court nominees were confirmed. That’s higher than the last three Presidents (78 percent under George H. W. Bush, 74 percent under Bill Clinton, and 72 percent under George W. Bush). During the first year of Bush’s second term, only 22 nominees were confirmed. By comparison, 34 of Obama’s nominees have already been confirmed this year.

The number of vacancies in the federal courts increased during Obama’s first term, unlike during the first terms of Clinton and Bush. Currently there are 91 vacancies in the federal courts, and Obama has made nominations to roughly half of those vacancies. Of the current vacancies, 37 have been declared judicial “emergencies,” yet Obama has made nominations for only 18 of those 37 emergencies.

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