Category: Uncategorized

“Discussions of the federal judiciary often focus on the substance of decisions made—which side wins and which side loses—and rightly so. These individual opinions are frequently of incredible importance, not just to the parties involved but in shaping the law more broadly. Yet this focus on substantive decisions has obscured deeper structural factors at play in the nation’s federal judiciary. Structural problems—such as lack of judicial diversity, ideologue judges, and lack of judicial accountability — undercut the courts’ legitimacy and have tangible negative effects on judicial decision-making. Instead of protecting everyday Americans by serving as a check on abuses of power, too often the federal courts have become a tool for carrying out the agendas of special interests and corporations.”

Source: Sam Berger and Danielle Ross. “Structural Reforms to the Federal Judiciary.” Center for American Progress. May 8, 2019. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/courts/reports/2019/05/08/469504/structural-reforms-federal-judiciary/.

“Discussions of the federal judiciary often focus on the substance of decisions made — which side wins and which side loses — and rightly so. These individual opinions are frequently of incredible importance, not just to the parties involved but in shaping the law more broadly. Yet this focus on substantive decisions has obscured deeper structural factors at play in the nation’s federal judiciary. Structural problems — such as lack of judicial diversity, ideologue judges, and lack of judicial accountability — undercut the courts’ legitimacy and have tangible negative effects on judicial decision-making. Instead of protecting everyday Americans by serving as a check on abuses of power, too often the federal courts have become a tool for carrying out the agendas of special interests and corporations.”

“No organization wields more influence in judicial confirmation battles, be they at the district, appellate or Supreme Court level, than the American Bar Association. For over half a century, the ABA has issued ratings of federal judicial nominees as ‘well-qualified,’ ‘qualified’ or ‘not qualified,’ which have shown considerable influence in the Senate confirmation process.”

Source: Dylan Matthews. “Has the American Bar Association kept our judges white and male?” Washington Post. February 28, 2013. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/02/28/has-the-american-bar-association-kept-our-judges-white-and-male/.

“For progressive activists, that only highlights the need for Democrats to take judicial appointments more seriously. The subject has so far not been a focus in any of the Democratic presidential debates, in which 2020 hopefuls are making the case for why they should be the Democratic Party’s nominee to take on Trump. But as Brian Fallon of the group Demand Justice pointed out, the Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning on ambitious ideas — climate change policies, health care and financial regulation. Those things, he said, will be disputed in court and will need to survive judicial review in front of judges — many of whom were appointed by Trump. Fallon has this to say to Democrats vying for the White House: ‘They actually owe it to the voters to explain very clearly what they’re going to do to take back the courts and who they’ll nominate in order to do that.'”

Source: Carrie Johnson. “Trump’s Impact On Federal Courts: Judicial Nominees By The Numbers.” NPR. August 5, 2019. https://www.npr.org/2019/08/05/747013608/trumps-impact-on-federal-courts-judicial-nominees-by-the-numbers.

“In all, around 70% of Trump’s judicial appointees are white men. Dozens of those nominees have refused to answer whether they support the Supreme Court’s holding in Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 opinion that said racial segregation of public schools is unconstitutional. Civil rights advocates say those nonanswers should be disqualifying. But with Republicans holding 53 seats in the Senate and on board with Trump’s program to confirm as many judges as possible, these nonanswers usually aren’t.”

Source: Carrie Johnson. “Trump’s Impact On Federal Courts: Judicial Nominees By The Numbers.” NPR. August 5, 2019. https://www.npr.org/2019/08/05/747013608/trumps-impact-on-federal-courts-judicial-nominees-by-the-numbers.