According to the Federal Judicial Center, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both had very similar judicial confirmation rates — 201 lower court judges were confirmed during Clinton’s first term, and 204 judges were confirmed under Bush. President Obama, by contrast, has seen only 142 judges confirmed so far according to the FJC’s data — or less than four judges for each month of his presidency. In order to catch up to his two predecessors, Obama will need to double that rate to about 7.5 judges a month for the rest of his current term.
The recently completed deal, however, proves that this rate is achievable. Indeed, 7.5 judges a month is almost exactly the rate of confirmations achieved under this deal. There is simply no reason why the Senate cannot repeat its recent performance and catch up to a normal rate of confirmations by the time either Obama or Mitt Romney takes the oath of office next January.