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October 26, 2009

Two new pieces on the pace of judicial appointments in the Obama era

Thanks to How Appealing, I discovered these two notable new pieces on judicial appointments during the early Obama era:

The concluding paragraph of the piece from Brookings provides the basic take-away for now:

Probably the two most striking findings about this early comparative look at the current and most recent administrations’ early nominees are: 1) the relatively paucity of Obama administration nominees, and 2) the delay in full Senate action on those nominees — quick Judiciary Committee hearings but little more.  It is too soon to say whether these early developments presage an administration with a less energetic policy on judicial nominations than its predecessor; greater difficulty in identifying qualified candidates, especially non-judges; or a Senate that will not confirm large numbers of nominees because of unchallenged minority delaying tactics — or some combination of all three.

I find all these trends notable, important and distressing from a sentencing perspective.  As I have noted in a lot of prior posts, the always-present and often-pressing legal issues involved in sentencing law and policy are uniquely directed shaped by the work of lower court judges.  The early failure of President Obama to begin reshaping the federal judiciary surely means an early missed opportunity to move modern sentencing law and policy in a new direction.

Some related new and old posts:

October 26, 2009 at 07:03 PM | Permalink


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Obama is a "titere" of other people in his shadow

Posted by: juegos de estrategia | Oct 26, 2009 7:41:49 PM

Ed Whalen has a powerful and detailed rebuttal to Mr. Kendall here: http://bench.nationalreview.com/. It's the second entry down.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 27, 2009 11:21:44 PM

The delay in judicial and other appointments is driven by the health care issue. The administration does not want to allow every possible issue to become a bargaining chip for the opposition, so lots of things are not being delayed.

Posted by: John Minock | Oct 28, 2009 8:42:20 AM

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