The Gatekeepers: Federal District Courts in the Political Process

By Kevin L. Lyles | Go to book overview
Save to active project

6 Presidential Agendas and Judicial Appointments: From Bush Republicans to Clinton Democrats, 1988-1996

INTRODUCTION

In line with their immediate predecessors, the administrations of Bush and Clinton (first term) also demonstrated attempts to pack the district courts with nominees who would reflect their preferred judicial philosophy. Like presidents Carter and Reagan before them, reviews of Bush and Clinton show that they too were directly involved in the selection and nomination processes. And, as we shall see, this involvement also brought about dramatic and significant changes in the nature and character of the federal judiciary.


GEORGE W. BUSH

I strongly believe that federal judges should be appointed on the basis of personal and professional qualifications. I am firmly committed to appointing judges who are dedicated to interpreting the law as it exists, rather than legislating from the bench. I also remain committed to appointing to the bench the best qualified candidates we can find--regardless of race and gender. 1

The election of George Bush on November 8, 1988 followed eight years of President Reagan's unprecedented involvement in staffing the federal district courts along ideological lines. Bush's presidential leadership style, however, lacked the passionate ideological commitment of Reagan, 2 and consequently, Bush approached district court judge nominations with less intensity. Overall, Bush's vision, as summarized at the beginning of his presidency, was "to preside over a calm period of national growth, cooperation, and renewal; to manage world affairs with skill and subtlety; and to achieve maximum ends with minimalist means and modest rhetoric." 3

Hints of Bush's position with regard to judicial selection were made clear

-155-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Gatekeepers: Federal District Courts in the Political Process
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 320

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?