Judicial Confirmations Called Significantly Low

Article excerpt

Byline: Audrey Hudson

The percentage of President Bush's judicial confirmations is significantly lower than previous administrations, according to a nonpartisan congressional report.

The survey by the Congressional Research Service reports that Mr. Bush has put forward 64 district and circuit court nominations since May, but only 18 have been approved by the full Senate - a confirmation rate of 28 percent.

"It's the slowest in memory when you look at confirmation rates," said Tom Jipping, judicial selection monitoring project director for the Free Congress Foundation.

The Judiciary Committee approved nine judges yesterday and a full vote is expected before the Senate adjourns. That would bring the final number to 27 confirmations.

President Clinton nominated 47 judges his first year and 27 were approved - a confirmation rate of 57 percent.

During the entire Clinton administration 374 judges were confirmed - just five judges shy of a record set by President Reagan. When Mr. Clinton left office, 41 nominations had not been acted on by the Senate.

In his first year, President George Bush, father of the current president, nominated 24 judges, of which 15 were confirmed - a 62 percentage rate. Mr. Reagan saw 41 of his 45 nominations approved his first year, a confirmation rate of 91 percent.

"This Senate has more to choose from but is confirming less than any Senate in 20 years," Mr. Jipping said.

Mr. Jipping said the Democrats want to keep courts in the hands of activist, liberal judges.

"The longer they can keep Bush's judges off the bench, the more mischief those liberal activist judges can make," Mr. …