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Judicial Tyranny, my ()()

Ron Hiatt

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Judicial Tyranny, my ()()
« on: March 29, 2005, 09:36:29 AM »
You've probably heard the following phrases bandied about by the religious right, FoxNews talking heads, radio talkers, and GOP politicians: judicial tyranny, activist judges, legislating from the bench, etc.

It seems pretty clear to me that the right feels emboldened by their latest electoral victory and have set their sites on bastardizing the one branch of government that is actually paying attention to the Constitution instead of pandering to political pressures. I believe this branding of the judiciary as out-of-control and liberal is a concerted effort to get the most conservative judges confirmed. The ploy, in this case, is to generate a broad consensus that the federal judiciary is renegade and liberal beyond belief, yet the numbers don't support this assertion.

On C-SPAN this morning, one of the guys from Hotline gave some interesting numbers about the political affiliation of federal judges. It surprised me. From all the rhetoric, I would have thought that there was at least a balance of Dems to Reps in the federal judgeships. It's not even close. Judges nominated by Republican Presidents out number their political counterparts by nearly 3 to 2. I didn't remember the exact numbers he stated, so I looked them up online and tabulated the number. I have reproduced my findings in the image below.

(click on the thumbnail to view image)
Data compiled from The Federal Judges Biographical Database