The most important reason for otherwise disillusioned Democrats to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate is to get more liberal judges into the federal system. But Obama’s not giving us much there to like, as Linda Greenhouse points out:
The administration is simply not nominating judges at an acceptable rate or making a public push for those it has nominated. For the current 17 vacancies on the federal appeals courts, there are only eight nominees. For 75 district court vacancies, there are 34 nominees. It’s possible to come up with explanations for some of these missing nominees — recalcitrance on the part of home-state senators, tardiness by the American Bar Association committee that vets potential nominees — but these numbers are huge. As of this month, President Obama is 33 judicial nominations behind where President George W. Bush was at the comparable point in his presidency, and 41 nominations behind President Bill Clinton.
That judges are among a president’s most important legacies is an observation so obvious as to be platitudinous. So here’s another observation: you can’t confirm someone who hasn’t been nominated.
As Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out, “And the recess appointment power doesn’t work why?”
We’ve seen that Obama is rarely willing to fight for anything — except compromise and capitulation. Oh well!