Confirmation of Gay Judge Belies Obama's Lack of Nominating Success
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
J. Paul Oetken
After two and a half years of nominating struggles and partisan roadblocks, President Barack Obama was able to celebrate an important judicial landmark this week: The confirmation of the first-ever openly gay man to the federal bench.
Equally remarkable was the fact Republicans not only did not block the confirmation of Paul Oetken, but they actually voted for him. GOP supporters included some of the Senate’s staunchest social conservatives: Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, John Cornyn of Texas, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Jon Kyl of Arizona.
The final vote for Oetken was 80-13.
“The nominee’s sexual orientation was deemed unimportant—or at least less important than his moderate politics and his pro-business record (he’s a corporate lawyer, with Cablevision),” wrote Dana Milbank for the Washington Post.
The successful confirmation of Oetken comes after the Obama White House enduring considerable criticism for its handling of judicial appointments. There are currently 90 vacancies in the federal courts, and while many of the slots have remained empty because the GOP has refused to confirm certain Obama’s selections, the president too has been blamed for the situation.
Legal experts attribute some of the problem to Obama’s slow pace in making judicial appointments. His operation for choosing judges has been described as disorganized and insular. Consequently, he lags behind his predecessors in making judicial nominations.
By the end of Bill Clinton’s first two years in office, he had selected 142 judges. For George W. Bush, the total was 131.
But of the judges Obama has nominated, only 39.8% have been confirmed. By this time in his first administration, 76% of Bush’s nominees had been approved. Clinton fared even better at 89%.
In a ‘Quiet Moment,’ Gay Judge Makes History (by Dana Milbank, Washington Post)
Obama's Nominations Team Described as Insular, Lacking Energy (The Blog of the Legal Times)
Why Obama Has No Judges (by Jonathan Chait, The New Republic)
Here Come the Judges - Obama Moves to the Benches (by Carlyn Kolker, Reuters)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Thousands of At-Risk Afghan Translators Who Aided U.S. Military Must Rely on Trump for Visas for U.S. Sanctuary
- California Lawmakers to Enact Sweeping Laws to Resist Trump’s Mass Immigrant Deportation Threats
- Decades-Long Trend of Rising Life Expectancy in U.S. Undergoes Mysterious Reversal
- Fake U.S. Embassy Operated for 10 Years in Ghana
- Marshall Islands’ Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Gerald Zackios?