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.
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).
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%.
Democrats have obstructed four times more.
Regarding unanimous votes (>90), Trump has 11 of 26 for 42%. Obama had 33 of 55 for 60%.
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.