On Tuesday, Steven Calabresi of the Federalist Society, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. In it, he argues that the federal courts are teetering on the brink of absolute liberalism – no doubt a catastrophe in his mind. To illustrate this point, he misrepresents facts in an effort to perpetuate the myth that there is such a thing as a liberal and “activist” judiciary.
Mr. Calabresi accuses Democrats of waging an eight-year obstruction campaign against President Bush’s judicial nominees and suggests that, should one win the White House, “the balance will shift…on almost all of the…federal appeals courts.” We can only assume that this shift he refers to would be the courts swinging from almost entirely conservative to simply, a little less conservative.
In truth, ten of the 13 federal circuit courts of appeals have Republican-appointed majorities. Only one, the Ninth, has a majority of judges who were appointed by a Democrat. And as for Mr. Calabresi’s argument that come inauguration day, six of the nine Supreme Court justices will be over 70 – what he conveniently forgets to mention is that four of those six are the justices who make up the court’s liberal bloc.
If only it were as easy as Mr. Calabresi suggests to reverse the damage done to our federal judiciary by President Bush. Truth is, we have years of work ahead of us if we are to mitigate the consequences of his eight years of court packing.