Throughout President Obama’s first two years in office, Senate Republicans waged war on his judiciary nominees — allowing only a handful of them to be confirmed. The GOP’s obstructionism grew so bad that conservative Chief Justice John Roberts scolded the Senate for its dismal confirmation record. A new report by the Alliance for Justice shows that the GOP’s obstructionism was truly historic — the worst obstructionism any new president faced at any point in American history:
[T]he Senate confirmed fewer of [Obama’s] district and circuit nominees than every president back to Jimmy Carter, and the lowest percentage of nominees – 58% – than any president in American history at this point in a President’s first term. By comparison, Presidents George W. Bush, Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Reagan and Carter had 77%, 90%, 96%, 98%, and 97% of their nominees confirmed after two years, respectively.
Senate Republicans’ mass obstruction of Obama’s judges stands in stark contrast to the treatment afforded to past presidents. Indeed, the Senate confirmed fewer judges during Obama’s first two years in office than it did during the same period in the Carter Administration, even though the judiciary was 40 percent smaller while Carter was in office.
Disturbingly, much of this obstructionism targeted women and people of color. Although Obama’s nominees are the most diverse in American history, every district court nominee with unanimous Republican opposition in the Senate Judiciary Committee was a woman or person of color.