Today as I was searching for more information about President Barack Obama's judicial appointments to our federal courts, I came across an interesting editorial in the Wall Street Journal by none other than the co-founder of the Federalist Society. Join me below the jump for all the fun!
In the editorial written just before election day, Steven Calabresi notes that nothing other than the fate of the Federal Courts is at stake in the election. In a whiny, hyperventilating tone Calabresi sizes up the "legal left," as he calls those of us whose hearts seek justice regardless of where we fit into society. In a mischaracterization of truth bordering on subterfuge, Calabresi opens his editorial with a shot across the bow aimed at Congressional Democrats.
One of the great unappreciated stories of the past eight years is how thoroughly Senate Democrats thwarted efforts by President Bush to appoint judges to the lower federal courts.
Those of us familiar with Senate Democrats' week and feeble attempts at stopping some of George W. Bush's most odious nominees are certainly aware how laughable and ludicrous this statement really is.
But, there's more!
Consider the most important lower federal court in the country: the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In his two terms as president, Ronald Reagan appointed eight judges, an average of one a year, to this court. They included Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia, Kenneth Starr, Larry Silberman, Stephen Williams, James Buckley, Douglas Ginsburg and David Sentelle. In his two terms, George W. Bush was able to name only four: John Roberts, Janice Rogers Brown, Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh.
Although two seats on this court are vacant, Bush nominee Peter Keisler has been denied even a committee vote for two years. If Barack Obama wins the presidency, he will almost certainly fill those two vacant seats, the seats of two older Clinton appointees who will retire, and most likely the seats of four older Reagan and George H.W. Bush appointees who may retire as well.
I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to feel his pain...not!!
The net result is that the legal left will once again have a majority on the nation's most important regulatory court of appeals.
The balance will shift as well on almost all of the 12 other federal appeals courts. Nine of the 13 will probably swing to the left if Mr. Obama is elected (not counting the Ninth Circuit, which the left solidly controls today). Circuit majorities are likely at stake in this presidential election for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. That includes the federal appeals courts for New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and virtually every other major center of finance in the country.
On the Supreme Court, six of the current nine justices will be 70 years old or older on January 20, 2009. There is a widespread expectation that the next president could make four appointments in just his first term, with maybe two more in a second term. Here too we are poised for heavy change.
One can only hope that Calabresi's ominous (for conservatives) predictions about our federal judiciary come true. A President never really knows how many appointments he is going to be able to make.
Calabresi goes on to insinuate that the "legal left" is mischaracterizing just how right-wing our federal courts are now.
The legal left wants Americans to imagine that the federal courts are very right-wing now, and that Mr. Obama will merely stem some great right-wing federal judicial tide. The reality is completely different. The federal courts hang in the balance, and it is the left which is poised to capture them.
As a proud proponent of the "legal left," though I'm not a lawyer, I can only marvel in the joy I feel that a prominent legal conservative, someone who has helped turn the federal courts into a bastion of corporate power, into a haven for screw the little guy group-think, may never get another chance to do such damage again to that which is there to protect the right of the minority against the tyranny of the majority.
Anyway, it's a great read for all you bleeding hearts, so do check it out.
Also, I came across this link on wikipedia where you can follow the progress of Obama's "legal left" takeover of the federal judiciary:
Thanks for reading,