The Slow Pace of Judicial Confirmations

Over at Volokh, Jonathan Adler highlights the slow place the senate is taking on judicial nominations.  One thing stands out to me:

By comparison, a Republican Senate confirmed eight of President Clinton’s appellate nominees during his last year in office. Since January 2007, the Senate has confirmed eight appellate nominees, whereas a Republican Senate confirmed fifteen during President Clinton’s last two year.

Adler believes that judicial appointments need to be depoliticized, and I tend to agree (though, as I said, I’m glad the Democrats defeated Bork), but I’m reminded of something Dave Hardy said a while ago in a comment at The Bitch Girls:

Liberals as a general rule see government as a tool to solve problems. They thus are skilled at using it (albeit to create more problems than they solve). Their “best and brightest” go in for government work. When in power, they work to create a government system that will continue to work as they want it to.

Conservatives… well, the social conservatives believe in regulating morality, the libertarian ones don’t believe much in government at all. Their best and brightest stay far away from it. When in power, they at most use their appointments to pay off political favors (pay for work they really don’t want done) and maybe to try, largely in vain, to prevent further encroachments in the short time frame. The political appointments vanish when they lose an election, and there is no lasting imprint. They can’t create a career cadre that will respect liberty, because they have no interest in careerists who would waste their lives working for the government.

The Republicans did what they thought was fair, and the Democrats are doing what they think will win.  After all the judiciary is getting way too conservative for them already, I’m sure.  The Judiciary is one area I actually think conservatives have been able to make some reasonable inroads against Leviathan, but Democrats are starting to wise up, and do what they do best; use government effectively.

One thought on “The Slow Pace of Judicial Confirmations”

  1. The logical conclusion to this argument is interesting, and might even be true. Bear with me.

    If the “best and the brightest” on the conservative and libertarian sides stay out of government, then who are the conservative (and libertarian) politicians IN GOVERNMENT?

    I consider myself a libertarian, and I’m going to do some Bush bashing here. Here’s a guy who was basically a failure in business. What do rich, politically connected people do when they suck at business? They become politicians!

    Jokes aside, I may be in a minority on this, but the down side to the logical conclusion of “conservative best and brightest” is that we get “less than brightest” or “dumber than soda pop.” And that tends to deepen political elitism and divisiveness. I hope I’m not casting too harsh a stone, but the G.W. Bush Administration seems to be a pretty good example of this.

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