Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What is taking so long?

Well, we still don't have any word on our next judge or U.S. Attorney. What could be taking so long? Here's an interesting article from the Washington Post, "Obama Criticized as Too Cautious, Slow on Judicial Posts." Some excerpts:

President Obama has not made significant progress in his plan to infuse federal courts with a new cadre of judges, and liberal activists are beginning to blame his administration for moving too tentatively on what they consider a key priority.
During his first nine months in office, Obama has won confirmation in the Democratic-controlled Senate for just three of his 23 nominations for federal judgeships, largely because Republicans have used anonymous holds and filibuster threats to slow the proceedings to a crawl.
But some Democrats attribute that GOP success partly to the administration's reluctance to fight, arguing that Obama's emphasis on easing partisan rancor over judgeships has backfired and only emboldened Senate Republicans. Some Republicans contend that the White House has hurt itself by its slow pace in sending over nominations for Senate consideration. President George W. Bush sent 95 names to the Senate in the same period that Obama has forwarded 23....
The delays are having a ripple effect in federal courts, where caseloads continue to back up, said Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.). Currently, about 90 judicial seats -- about 10 percent of the total -- remain vacant in appeals and district courts.
The White House predicts that nominations and confirmations will pick up soon. "The administration has been working closely with members of Congress to identify a set of uniquely qualified judicial nominees with diverse professional experiences," said Ben LaBolt, an Obama spokesman. "This process has been bipartisan and we have made every effort to make confirmation wars a thing of the past."
But liberal activists argue that Obama needs to quicken the pace, partly for political reasons. "It is incumbent on the Democrats and the White House to push as hard as they can to confirm judicial nominees, given that next year Republicans will make an all-out effort to block candidates as a means to gin up their base before the election," said Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, an advocacy organization.
Analysts say that unlike Bush, who saw judicial appointments as a way to advance a strict view of the Constitution, Obama has not sharply defined his judicial philosophy. Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, said that Republicans consider the federal courts crucial to furthering their policy aims by overturning current law, but that Obama is among Democrats who view court appointments mainly as a means of defending the legal status quo.
The State system on the other hand is chugging along. John Kastrenakes was sworn in last Friday by Judge Moreno. Grey Tesh has all the details here, including speeches by Ryon McCabe, Judge O'Sullivan, Andrew Lourie and Michael Cornely.


Anonymous said...

Anything on the U.S. Marshal position?

Confused Observer said...

Let me get this straight: the criticism is that the President has not been aggressively ramming through a slate of partisan judicial and Justice Department appointments to further an ideological agenda, but has rather been cautiously seeking qualified candidates who thoughtful conservatives and liberals alike might support on a bi-partisan basis? Shame on you, Mr. Obama.

swlip said...

Well, he's dithering on just about everything else, too - Afghanistan, Iran... tick-tock-tick-tock....

The only decisive action that the O Administration has taken lately is to attack Fox News. Yeah, that'll help.

Oh, wait a second. I almost forgot about the unilateral cancellation of missile defense in Central Europe. The Russians are still laughing about that one.

Of course, he's found time to punish one or our most loyal allies in the hemisphere, Honduras, for lawfully removing a Chavez wannabe.

Come to think of it, he's got so much on his plate that it seems downright churlish to expect him to actually pay attention to court nominations.

Anonymous said...

I voted for and contributed to Obama. He has not fulfilled his promise to "Rebuild America, brick by brick." Didn't he get the message that the previous administration, especially DOJ was shady? As a constitutional law professor, didn't he know that one flaw in the Constitution is lifetime appointment for judges? I won't be voting for him a second time. He is a one term wonder.

Anonymous said...

"One flaw in the Constitution is lifetime appointment for judges??!!"

Are you freakin' kidding me? It's called having an independent judiciary. You know, co-equal branches of government, checks and balances. It's what gives the courts the freedom to decide cases like Loving v. Virginia that overturn the will of the people when the will of the people clashes with our Constitution. I am sure you would prefer elected judges like like the justice of the peace in Louisiana who denied the marriage liscence to a couple because they were of different races.

As an aside to the Haters: Prsident Obama has been in office less than one year, and already he has done more positive things for the American people than W did in eight years. Not bad considering the heaving pile of dung left by the W administrations and the whiny, temper-tantrum throwing, say no to anything worthwhile actions of the Grand No Party.

swlip said...

"already he has done more positive things for the American people than W did in eight years."

For example...?

Anonymous said...

For example, he hasn't dragged us into two quagmires, one on false pretenses. If the man does NOTHING he will have succeeded in being a better president than his predecessor.

Anonymous said...

Restored America's standing in the world.

Restored our civil rights that were so callously and easily violated by W and his cronies

Saved America, and the World, from the brink of economic collapse (caused in large part by W's inept leadership and W's take from the middle-class and give to the rich form of macro-economics)

Restored the view that government should rely on science and not fear and ignore it.

Taken oversight of our natural resources away from the industries that would exploit them for their own gain.

Ended the horrific and barbaric practice of torture.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Actually, I take that back. I doubt you get the idea, but I'll stop anyway.

Anonymous said...

9:33 Count me in with Thomas Jefferson who identified the "good behavior," i.e. lifetime appointments for an out-of-control judiciary,as flawed. Jefferson thought the Constitution should be amended to require re-appointment every six years because he considered impeachment an ineffective "scarecrow." What's wrong with Jefferson's suggestion and/or how about term limits for judges.

Finally, describing anybody who disagrees with Obama as a "hater" is disingenuos.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Hater is the wrong word...Racist or moron is probably more appropriate.

Racist Morons.

Anonymous said...

It's not always white people who oppose Obama. Many blacks oppose him too. Are they also racists? Why is the success of Obama a function of how he compares to Bush? That is not how you should judge a President. Take off the Bush obsession goggles and judge Obama on his own merits. He's a pompous, arrogant radical who wants to control everything. The next piece of radical legislation will allow the federal government to watch you in the bathroom just to make sure no funny business is going on while you empty yourself.

Anonymous said...


I am with Hamilton: "The standard of good behavior for the continuance in office of the judicial magistry is certainly one of teh most valuable of the modern improvements in the practice of government. In a monarchy it is an excellent barrier to the despotism of the prince: In a republic it is no less an excellent barrier to the encroachment and oppressions of the representative body." A. Ham. Federalist No. 78.

Also, I believe I used Hater in its proper context. From the urban dictionary:

A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.

Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesnt really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock somelse down a notch.

swlip said...

It's funny to be called a "hater" or a "racist" just because I am highly skeptical of Obama's achievements, and I view his agenda as being fairly radical. Do you really want to go down that path? I thought that "Dissent [was] the highest form of patriotism," or some such thing from the "Book of Sh*t Thomas Jefferson Supposedly Said But Didn't."

Anyway, being called a "hater" is especially amusing in light of the fact that liberals still can't even mention Bush without dissolving into fits of teeth-gnashing rage. It seems that Richard Lowry was correct when he recently predicted that the Democrats will still be running against Bush in 2010 and 2012.

Btw, I'm old enough to remember the Carter years, and I can definitely say that apologizing to our enemies and mistreating our friends was not an effective formula for "restoring our standing in the world."

Anonymous said...

swlip - you were fairly intelligent, for a far right winger. Until you spewed the latest republican garbage about "running against bush in 2010" and then delved into the carter years! Stupid is as stupid. hypocrisy - hall mark of the marginalized right.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Nice to see swlip back in the mix.

Anonymous said...

Soooo, the topic of discussion being the amount of time that it is taking the Obama Administration to appoint Judges and U.S. Attorneys, I will comment on that. I can certainly understand the frustration. The decision to apppoint a person to a federal judgeship for lifetime, however, is not one that should be taken lightly. Our system of justice deserves the very best and brightest on the federal bench. We need judges who can make sound decisions based on the law and tempered by justice and fairness, not simply to defendants, but to the victims of crime and our community. Idealistic as it sounds, I hope that this administration is looking for the best candidate for each position, a task which might not come easy given the talent that can be found all around us.

Anonymous said...

Staying as close to topic as possible, the 11th Circuit has a vacancy. Has anyone been nominated to that? If not, our very own Adalberto Jordan should be nominated. Clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor, headed the US Attorney for the S.Dist.Fla.'s appellate department, and is an all around mensch.

What say you S.Dist blogosphere?

swlip said...

Agree that Jordan would be a great pick for the 11th. So would Altonaga. But I would tremble at the thought of who might replace them.

Anonymous said...

I did not see either name on the list of applicant's for the current vacancy on the Southern District, but Magistrate Torres or Chief Magistrate Bandstra would both make great District Judges. Thus, finding a replacement for Judge Jordan or Judge Altonaga wouldn't be that difficult if either Torres or Bandstra are up for it.

Anonymous said...

It was a Goergia seat and Judge Beverly Martin from Atlanta was nominated.

swlip said...

It looks like HopenChange has nominated noted "centrist" Edward Chen: http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2009/10/28/obama-appoints-another-radical-judge/