Patterico's Pontifications

9/9/2010

More on the L.A. Times’s Distortion of Obama’s Judicial Confirmation Statistics

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 7:28 am

I e-mailed Ed Whelan my post on the L.A. Times‘s distortion of statistics on judicial confirmation rates. Whelan followed up, and now provides evidence that Carol J. Williams, a reporter who once so badly botched an analysis of a court decision that the paper ran a four-paragraph correction, screwed the pooch again in her recent article where she said:

Obama’s judicial confirmation rate is the lowest since analysts began detailed tracking the subject 30 years ago, with 47% of his 85 nominations winning Senate approval so far. That compares with 87% confirmed during the first 18 months of the previous administration, 84% for President Clinton, 79% for President George H.W. Bush and 93% for President Reagan.

Let me turn the bullhorn over to Whelan:

The article’s assertion that President George W. Bush had 87% of his early judicial nominees “confirmed during the first 18 months of [his] administration” struck me as farfetched. And it turns out that it is wildly wrong. Specifically (by my quick count, which may not be perfect but should be very close), President Bush nominated some 112 judges during his first 18 months (32 to the courts of appeals and 80 to the district courts), and 64 of these (13* to the courts of appeals and 51 to the district courts) were confirmed during the first 18 months of his administration. That yields an overall figure of 57%, not 87% (and the figure for the courts of appeals was just under 41%).

I think we’ve reached the point where an e-mail to the Readers’ Representative is called for. Who wants to handle it? readers.representative@latimes.com. If you send anything, copy me.

5 Responses to “More on the L.A. Times’s Distortion of Obama’s Judicial Confirmation Statistics”

  1. 59 Democratic votes against 41 Republican votes and Obama can’t get his judges approved. I guess his inexperience as an executive shows in many ways outside of ruining our economy and endangering our national security as Hillary Clinton asserted yesterday.

    Who could have known?

    whocares (2d1b4f)

  2. You want someone to write to the “readers’ representative”?

    First you’ll have to find someone who reads it. Good luck with that.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  3. Whocares misunderstands…that’s cool. It’s not about Obama; it’s about the Republicans your comment intimates are just powerless. As Steve Benen (warning: he’s an evil liberal) noted:

    The American Constitution Society, Center for American Progress, and the Constitutional Accountability Center released a memo on this yesterday, detailing the “crisis” on the courts, resulting from “rampant filibusters, anonymous holds, and constant procedural delays.”

    It paints an ugly picture, in which President Obama’s nominees simply can’t get votes, because Republicans refuse to allow them. While the White House has often been too slow to send nominees to the Senate, once those nominees are there, they’re subjected to a ridiculous process that leaves them in indefinite limbo. From the report: “On average, President Bush’s appellate court nominees waited an average of 24 days to be confirmed after being favorably reported out of the Judiciary Committee, but President Obama’s appellate nominees wait an average of 116 days.”

    Making matters worse, Senate Republicans frequently delay consideration of uncontroversial nominees for months, only to see those same judges get confirmed unanimously.

    As just Kennedy noted: Many of these courts are already completely overworked: Justice Kennedy highlighted the Eastern District of California, where five judges are handling a workload of fifteen judges. Still, a nominee to that court, Kimberly Mueller, who was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in early May without opposition, has now been waiting four months for a vote on the Senate floor, with no end in sight

    Mindless obstructionism should have real world consequences and if you unaware that holds are placed on these judges by Richard Shelby and friends as they play a “four corners” defense on the Obama presidency, then you don’t know much about the way the Senate works,…..errr, doesn’t work.

    Still, I doubt the next Republican President’s partisan friends will lack knowledge about mindless obstructionism works since the media will be full of stories about how these poor darling conservative judges can’t get approved. If it’s good for the goose, I suspect the gander will try it too. Welcome to America under scorched earth silly politics.

    timb (449046)

  4. timb – “If it’s good for the goose, I suspect the gander will try it too.”

    What… were you born in 2009?

    If you had bothered to read the post, you would have found that those poor darling ‘empathetic to the point of just re-writing (and/ior completely ignoring) laws to suit the moment’ liberal judges are getting approved at a similar rate as conservative one’s were under Bush – despite the LA Times out and out lying to obscure that fact.

    What was good for the conservative goose – is already causing the gander to squeal like a stuck pig (as well as causing left wing news sources and so called ‘journalists’ to lie to obscure that fact).

    twyger (463a9d)

  5. If facts can be made up to suit an SAT essay that gets you into journalism school, why not make them up here? It was still a good well-written article, wasn’t it?

    Amphipolis (b120ce)


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