Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, addressed the complaints in a prepared floor statement on October 11, 2011. Senator Grassley refuted
the prevailing liberal spin with the facts:
We have taken positive action on 84 percent of President Obama’s judicial nominees. . . President Obama’s circuit court nominees are waiting, on average, only 66 days to receive a hearing. Compare that to the 247 days President Bush’s circuit nominees were forced to wait. The same can be said for district court nominees, who have only waited 79 days under President Obama. Nominees of President Bush waited, on average, 120 days for a hearing.
Moreover, a stark contrast exists between the number of cloture votes cast in the last Congress opposing Bush judicial nominees compared
to those opposing Obama’s choices:
During our consideration of the 98 judicial nominations submitted during this Congress there have been two cloture motions . . . In the last Congress, there were four cloture motions made in relation to the 105 judicial nominations submitted. I would remind my colleagues that at least 18 of President Bush’s judicial nominees were subjected to cloture motions – many of them had multiple cloture votes. According to my count, there were approximately 30 cloture votes on Bush judicial nominees.
Senator Patrick Leahy recently complained about the raw numbers of judicial nominees confirmed at this stage of the Bush and Obama presidencies. But Mr. Leahy fails to account for the much smaller number of judges President Obama has nominated, thus distorting the totals. As the RNLA blog has reported
before, even those on the political left have complained about President Obama’s lackluster pace in nominating judges. Finally, the President insists on pushing through nominations to seats where the workload has actually decreased, for instance Caitlin Halligan to the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, instead of concentrating on judicial “emergencies” where the Senate’s attention is needed most.