Is your viewpoint based on perception or reality?

Was that article persuasive or manipulative?

Is that “expert” espousing truth or promoting an agenda?

Is it journalism or advocacy?

We live in a world full of obfuscation, spin, and bias. Sometimes the truth is the answer to the question not asked.

Enjoy Michael Scott’s Wikipedia lampoon.

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I’m not going to resolve these massive questions in this article, but I do want to address a narrow slice of the landscape: judicial nomination obstruction in Congress. Specifically, obstruction of Obama’s nominees versus Trump’s nominees.

 

What does the data reveal?

President Obama successfully placed 2 Supreme Court justices and 55 Court of Appeals judges during his 8-year term. President Trump successfully placed 2 Supreme Court justices and 26 Court of Appeals (8 others are pending a Senate vote) during his first 2 years.

How to define obstruction?

My definition for this article is any judge that receives less than 60 votes. 60 votes are needed to halt a filibuster. The filibuster is no longer in play for judicial confirmations thanks to Harry Reid. My other measurement is unanimous votes which I define as 90 or more.

How do the numbers compare?

Supreme Court Obstruction Numbers: Both of Obama’s justices surpassed the 60-vote threshold. Trump’s will both be in the low 50’s. (Kavanaugh has not had a vote but will be confirmed with less than 55 votes).

Verdict:

Obstruction: Democrats 100%

Court of Appeals Obstruction Numbers

Barack had obstruction 8 of his 55 nominees which is 15%. The Democrats have obstructed 15 of the 26 nominees which is 58%.

Verdict:

Democrats have obstructed four times more.

Regarding unanimous votes (>90), Trump has 11 of 26 for 42%. Obama had 33 of 55 for 60%.

 

Verdict:

Republicans supported more unanimous votes.

The Democrats have regularly demanded a cloture vote and 30 hours of debate for most nominees. Some have had no debates during the 30 hours and one nominee, Eighth Circuit nominee Ralph Erickson, was confirmed 95-1. At the rate that the Democrats are slow-walking the votes, some estimate that it will take the Senate over 11 years to confirm Trump’s nominees. If reelected, he could only serve 6 more years.

These numbers reveal that the Democrats have built an obstruction machine to oppose most of Trump’s judicial nominees. The media, Hollywood, and the Never-Trump resistance movement have fueled the Resistance. Until the mid-term elections in November, this will be a common talking point. This is not good for our democracy or our Republic. May God bless America.

Note- I did not address Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination since there was never a vote. His nomination was extraordinary Senate inaction for over nine months.