Frequency of Presidential Appointees on Federal Judges
The frequency table reveals how many presidential appointees each president made to the Federal Appellate Court bench. This calculated on a per year basis shows that their has been a steady increase, with the exceptions of Ford who showed less and Carter who showed more, in the number of appointees to Federal Appellate Court bench during the last 10 presidencies. Since Federal Court judges are appointed for life terms, under conditions of “good behavior,” I attribute this increase in the number of Federal Appellate Court judges to larger caseloads with more issues to decide.
One of the exceptions noted earlier, Ford, who served only 2 years, appointed an average of Appellate Court judges a year. The other exception, Carter who served 4 years and made 56 appointments, had the greatest impact on the Federal Appellate Court system, averaging 14 appointees a year. A Perspective Look at Bush and Clinton’s Federal Appellate Court Appointees The data illustrates that Bush’s Federal judge appointees were within party lines 91% of the time. In 37 of his awarded Federal judgeships, 34 were Republican, 2 were Democrat, and 1 independent.
In contrast, Clinton also stayed within party lines, but at a lesser rate, 85% going to his party, appointing 41 of 48 Federal judgeships to Democrats. The other appointees made by Clinton consisted of 3 Republicans and 4 Independents. It is apparent that presidents appoint Federal Appellate Court judges who conform to their political ideologies. Republican judges, who are chosen because of their Conservative views, tend to hand down decisions that favor government and large businesses.
This becomes important in litigation involving labor-management conflicts, environmental issues, and personal injury cases when corporate America is the defendant. Democratic presidents, who also appoint Federal judges in conformity with their political ideology, appoint Democrats. These Democratic Federal Appellate court judges, liberals, are less concerned with the rights of government and corporate America and more concerned with the rights of individuals. This becomes evident in issues involving the First Amendment, rights of individuals in criminal cases, and matters involving discrimination of women and minorities.
The statistics show that over the last 10 presidencies, women were appointed to the bench of the Federal Court of Appeals in 39 of the 370 total appointments, or 10% of the time. The appointment of women as Federal Appellate Court judges was never fashionable for either the Republican or Democratic presidents until very liberal Carter, during his term, appointed 11 women to the bench. Although Bush’s percentage of women appointed as Federal Appellate Court justices is only 19% of his total, it is much higher than his closest Republican predecessor, Reagan, with a 5% comparison.
Clinton’s record in regard to female appointees is more balanced, but still skewed. One third of his appointees as Federal Court of Appeals judges in his first 6 years have been a woman. This contrast in difference, Clinton 42% higher than Bush in female appointees, clearly demonstrates their difference in political ideologies. The Democrats with their beliefs in individual rights, reflected in pro-choice decisions, and public policies, such as, protections on the environment by corporations, have attracted many women voters.
The Democrats have also been influential in advocating equal rights for women, especially in sexual harassment litigation. The analysis shows that Bush appointed white Federal Appellate Court judges 90% of the time. In Bush’s 4 years of office, he appointed 4 judges from a minority, 2 African-American judges, and 2 Hipic judges, comprising the other 10%. In Clinton’s 6 years of office, 23% of his Appellate Court appointments have been from a minority group. He has appointed 5 African-American judges, 5 Hipic judges, and for the first time an Asian-American judge.
Cinton’s appointees from a minority group outnumbered Bush’s by over 2 to 1. The appointment of Federal Appellate Court judges compared by race in influenced by the beliefs of the political party. Democrats, who traditionally held support from African-Americans and more recently Hipics, are more favorable toward the ills of the economically depressed, and advocate policies toward equal rights and affirmative action. This being reflected by the percentage of persons of minority being appointed as judges to the Federal Appellate Court by Democrats.
The Republican presidents, 5 of the last 10, have appointed 6 persons of minority to the Federal Appellate Court bench. This is 18% in the overall total of 33 minority judges appointed. This demonstrates less concern for minorities and the knowledge of the Republican Party that their support does not come from this sector of the population. In respect to Bush’s Federal Appellate Court appointments, religion plays an important part in the decision but less than political ideology, gender, and race. 54% of Bush’s appointed judgeships were from the Protestant faith, 24% from the Roman Catholic faith, and 16% from the Jewish faith.
The remaining 6% came from those with no religion. Clinton’s appointments to Federal Appellate Court judgeships show nearly equal distributions between the Protestant and Roman Catholic faiths with 35% and 33% respectively. The Jewish faith under Clinton received 19% of the appointments and those of Unitarian faith and of no religion received 13%. The percentages are consistent with the knowledge that the United States is a mostly Protestant nation. Republicans, over the last 10 presidencies have by an overwhelming majority, awarded Federal Appellate Court appointments to Protestants.
The Democrats, over the same p, have shown more diversity in their appointments. This is in line with the liberal views of the Democrats concerning equal rights and discrimination policy. Overall Patterns of Presidential Appointees to the Federal Appellate Court Bench The statistics revealed by this data indicate that Republican Presidential Appellate Court appointees are predominately white, male, and Protestant. Just during the last 2 Republican presidencies, Reagan and Bush, have the Republicans become a little more diverse in their appointments of Federal Appellate Court judges.
The appointments during the Republican terms of Reagan and Bush consisted of ultra-conservatives who were well accustomed to politics and most likely millionaires. The Democratic presidents, likely more liberals in their beliefs, demonstrated this in their appointments to the Federal Appellate Court judgeships. Although the Democratic presidents appointed primarily Democrats, the data shows an increase in the appointments of women, minorities, and other religious faiths; demonstrating diversity and capturing support from these groups. Changes in Federal Appellate Court Appointments over the last 50 years
The last 50 years, in respect to Federal Appellate Court judicial appointments, saw Republicans and Democrats appoint members from their own party. The Democrats, starting with Truman, began appointing minorities to Federal Appellate Court judgeships. It was not until the 60’s when civil rights and discrimination became issues that Democratic presidents became diverse in their appointments and starting including women and minorities. The Democratic presidents have included religions other than Protestant in their appointments at a higher rate than the Republicans.
During this 50-year period, the Republican presidents have not traditionally appointed women or minorities to the Federal Appellate Court. Not until the 80’s, under Reagan, did a Republican president appoint members to the Appellate Court that included women and minorities. The majority of the appointees under Reagan and Bush remained to be white males. The appointments by Republican presidents from religions other than Protestant remained low in comparison to their Democratic counterparts.