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November 21, 2013

My newest piece at the New York Post starts this way:

President Obama’s timing could have been better. Only two weeks ago in Texas, at a fundraiser, he bragged about “remaking the courts.” 

Obama told the audience: “In addition to the Supreme Court, we’ve been able to nominate and confirm judges of extraordinary quality all across the country on federal benches. We’re actually, when it comes to the district court, matching the pace of previous presidents. When it comes to the appellate court, we’re just a little bit behind, and we’re just going to keep on focused on it.” 

This was quite a change from June, when he accused Republicans of “cynically” engaging in “unprecedented” obstruction of judicial nominations. The president made those charge...

November 21, 2013

My newest piece at the New York Post starts this way:

President Obama’s timing could have been better. Only two weeks ago in Texas, at a fundraiser, he bragged about “remaking the courts.” 

Obama told the audience: “In addition to the Supreme Court, we’ve been able to nominate and confirm judges of extraordinary quality all across the country on federal benches. We’re actually, when it comes to the district court, matching the pace of previous presidents. When it comes to the appellate court, we’re just a little bit behind, and we’re just going to keep on focused on it.” 

This was quite a change from June, when he accused Republicans of “cynically” engaging in “unprecedented” obstruction of judicial nominations. The president made those charge...

October 20, 2013

My piece at Politico starts this way:

Think that attending a top university and graduating at the top of the class is the key to your success? Not if you’re headed for a federal judgeship. In fact, today the most accomplished candidates for the bench are the most likely to be rejected. And this phenomenon has only gotten worse with the quality of America’s judges in marked decline. 

The evidence of so-called dumbing down is striking: Tracking federal judge appointments over the past four decades, I found that graduates of one of U.S. News and World Report’s top 10 law schools who also served on their school’s law review had a 30 percent lower confirmation rate than their peers who neither went to top law schools nor did particularly...

October 20, 2013

The video that runs about an hour is available here.  The C-SPAN intro is not completely accurate so you might want to skip the first 30 seconds.  I would have rewritten it as this:

John Lott talked about his book, Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench, in which he argues that partisan politicians don’t like to confirm smart judges from the other political party because they’re afraid that smart judges have the ability to influence other judges.   In his book, he says that judges who graduated in the top 10 percent of their law classes have much longer confirmation processes than judges who don’t. He spoke at an event hosted by the Orange County Federalist Society.

October 20, 2013

My piece at Politico starts this way:

Think that attending a top university and graduating at the top of the class is the key to your success? Not if you’re headed for a federal judgeship. In fact, today the most accomplished candidates for the bench are the most likely to be rejected. And this phenomenon has only gotten worse with the quality of America’s judges in marked decline. 

The evidence of so-called dumbing down is striking: Tracking federal judge appointments over the past four decades, I found that graduates of one of U.S. News and World Report’s top 10 law schools who also served on their school’s law review had a 30 percent lower confirmation rate than their peers who neither went to top law schools nor did particularly...

October 16, 2013

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:

The Senate Judiciary committee will vote on either Wednesday or Thursday whether to confirm Robert Wilkins, President Obama’s nominee to the prestigious D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals --  the court often referred to after the Supreme Court as the “second highest court” in the country. 

President Obama has spared little rhetoric in threatening Republicans should they dare defeat or delay Wilkins’ nomination. When Wilkins was nominated in June, Obama accused Republicans of being “cynically” engaging in “unprecedented”obstruction of judicial nominations. 

Democrats claim that any fair consideration would guarantee Wilkins’ quick confirmation. After all, as they point out, Wilkins was quickly c...

July 1, 2010

When saying one with follow precedent doesn't mean a lot. From a piece that I had at Fox News:
 

Alarm bells should have gone off during Elena Kagan’s confirmation testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Here’s what Kagan told Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa):
 

It has long been thought, starting from the “Miller” case, that the Second Amendment did not protect such a right. . . . Now the Heller decision has marked a very fundamental moment in the court's jurisprudence with respect to the Second Amendment. And as I suggested to Senator Feinstein there is not question going forward that ‘Heller’ is the law, that it is entitled to all the precedent that any decision is entitled to and that is true to the ‘McDonald’ case as well...


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