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Bush's Legacy In The Federal Judiciary

This morning’s New York Times had a discouraging piece detailing President Bush’s judicial appointees.  In the article, President Bush noted that “he had appointed more than a third of the federal judiciary expected to be serving when he leaves office, a lifetime-tenured force that will influence society for decades and that represents one of his most enduring accomplishments.”

What does that mean to our clients?  While there are many Bush appointees that are good judges, including at least one judge in the Austin Division, Bush’s appointees “have been moer likely than their colleagues to favor corporations over regulators and people alleging discrimination, and to favor government over people who claim rights violations.  They have also been more likely to throw out cases on technical grounds, like rejecting plaintiffs’ standing to sue.”

We don’t see it so much in the trial courts here, which are very good.  But it seems that ruling after ruling comes down from the Fifth Circuit, which governs Texas, that make helping people that much more difficult.

The judiciary is also an important factor in the upcoming presidential election.  As the article continues:

An Obama victory could roll back the Republican advantage on the appeals courts and even create a Democratic majority by 2013, according to a study of potential vacancies by Russell Wheeler of the Brookings Institution. But if Mr. McCain wins, Republicans could achieve commanding majorities on all 13 circuits.

Regardless of what happens, we’ll still be out there fighting the battles for the public’s rights.

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