October 31, 2008

The federal courts redux

Here is a considerably more sober analysis of the situation in the federal courts presented to the next president than the hysteria served up by Federalist Society co-founder Steven G. Calabresi.

Some of the broader highlights:
If John McCain were elected president he would have a much greater opportunity to move the Supreme Court further to the right than Barack Obama would have to move it back to the center.

Obama would likely have a greater opportunity to shape the federal appeals bench if elected president, however, because of the current makeup of those courts.

A study found that an Obama presidency could potentially raise the number of Democratic appointees from 44 percent to 58 percent and significantly increase the number of appeals courts with Democratic majorities.

The study also points out the significant reward from potential appointments to the appeals court bench that a McCain presidency would reap, with the number of Republican appointees rising to a virtually unprecedented 74 percent, as well as likely control of all 13 courts of appeals.
Exactly as I said, that is precisely what Calabresi's hysterics demand.

Incidentally, Prof. Wohl mentions 13 courts of appeal, whereas I had enumerated 12. The thirteenth is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, whose jurisdiction is based in subject matter rather than geographical region. That jurisdiction is nationwide.

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