Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Conservative Stacking of U.S. Federal Courts

As the silly season commences with full-tilt conservative attacks upon President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, an L.A. Times blog article addresses the cumulative impact of the Bush adminstration's eight years of federal judicial appointments:

Legal scholars have observed that proponents of gay marriage have avoided taking the issue to federal court so far because of the dominance of conservative judges and justices on the federal bench after the eight-year tenure of President George W. Bush.

The U.S. Supreme Court has what usually results in a 5-4 majority against extending rights to gays by recognizing sexual orientation as a vulnerable class of citizens in need of protection.

And all but one of the 13 federal appeals circuits has a reliable conservative majority. Even the exception, the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, experienced a curtailing of its liberal orientation with Bush’s seven appointments.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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