Monday, April 25, 2005

A Vast Majority?

Prof. Rick Hasen writes,
Democrats in the Senate have used the power of the filibuster to block from office the 10 most ideologically extreme of President Bush’s nominees for federal judgeships, while approving a vast majority of his nominees. In response, some Republicans have threatened to change the filibuster rules in the name of “majority rule,” and Democrats have countered by saying they will grind the chamber’s business to a halt if the GOP eliminates the filibuster on judicial nominations.
Hmmm...that's not what this chart shows.

UPDATE: I have been made aware that the chart refers to Circuit Court nominees whereas Hasen was referring to all nominees including both Circuit and District Court. This makes his statement technically true, but still it is misleading. There has been little to no contention over district court nominees. Therefore, when he includes them he is misleading the reader by including a subset that is not even at issue. We could further broaden the issue by stating that less than 1% of Bush's nominations have been filibustered. When you include all nominations, be they judiciary or not, my statement is technically correct. However, IT IS misleading, no?

Not to play for the wrong team, but that chart is for Circuit Court appointments, while the quote was for "federal judgeships." So technically the quote is correct -- district court judges are in fact overwhelmingly approved.

The real point should be to show the irrelevancy, not the supposed inaccuracy, of the quote. Circuit judges are the ones who get to make law, so those appointments are the ones that count.
True, but the majority, if not all, of the filibustered judges were CA judges.
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