Laws Courts And Policies Essay Research Paper

Laws, Courts, And Policies Essay, Research Paper

Sep. 16 1999

Law, Courts, Politics Data/ Analysis

The American President’s and Their Judges

The appointing of judges to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals is the responsibility of the United States President. This responsibility does not go without its benefits. Because the law can at times be “flexible” when deciding a case, a president is most likely going to choose a judge with the same background and goals as he.

The Number of Judges Appointed

A president can appoint as many judges as he wishes. During the last ten presidencies the amount of judges appointed ranged from twelve to seventy eight during a whole presidency and 3.6 to 14 per year. When the number of judges is broken down into how many per year by president a pattern appears. It seems that the number of appointed judges per year per president increased and peaked during the Carter years. Carter, with a large fourteen per year, totaled to fifty-six during his four year term. Although Reagan appointed a total of seventy-eight it was all during eight years of presidency. Thus, after the peak of President Carter there was a slow but steady decline.

In a quick glance, one might think that President Reagan had the most effect on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals. It is not until you look into the data that the realization is that President Carter packed 4.25% more per year into the judges’ seats.

Bush and Clinton

Political Parties

Without breaking down into percentages the difference in party favor is obvious between Bush and Clinton. President Bush appointed thirty-four republican judges, two democratic judges, and one independent judge. Clinton appointed forty-one democratic judges, three republican judges, and four independent judges. The difference is due to the president’s own political party. A president is more likely to appoint a judge that has the same political beliefs as he does.


Democrats and republican are different in that democrats are more liberal and republican more conservative. This can effect further into the president’s appointments of judges. Democrats are more likely to appoint a higher percentage of women to the courts than a republican would. This is shown clearly by the difference in gender appointment by Bush and Clinton. President Bush appointed 8.9% women whereas Clinton appointed 33.3% women. There is a difference of 23.4% between the two presidents! Once again this is due to their beliefs drawn from their political parties.



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