In the wake of this week’s deal where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed to stop obstructing 14 of President Obama’s judicial nominees and allow them to be confirmed by early May, Al Kamen runs the numbers on how President Obama’s confirmation rate compares to the rate of confirmations under Presidents Bush and Clinton:
After the Senate acts on the 14 agreed-upon judges, there are eight more already teed up for a full Senate vote. An additional eight are in the Senate Judiciary Committee pipeline. And that panel?s chairman, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), says he?ll begin work on 11 more judges in the next few weeks.
That?s a total of 41 potentially approved judges.
If the Senate does, in fact, approve them all, Obama?s number of confirmed judges will stand at 172.
To put that in perspective, by the end of May in their respective first terms, George W. Bush had 175 judges approved, and Bill Clinton had 183.
In other words, even if the Senate were to confirm every single one of Obama’s pending nominees before the end of May — a tall order in the hyper-obstructionist era of Mitch McConnell — the president would still lag three judges behind his immediate predecessor. But, of course, there is no deal currently in place to confirm more than 14 of these nominees, which means the Obama Administration is now on track to be 30 judges behind President Bush absent additional confirmations.