Once upon a time . . .the answer
jlindgren at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Tue Apr 24 11:04:10 PDT 2001
I meant that they were not CHOSEN to push a Republican ideological agenda. On
the contrary, the usual sort meant that competence (as well as connections)
played a higher role than politics.
Michael McConnell wrote:
> It is important to distinguish two types of "political" agenda: (1) beliefs
> about the proper interpretation of law, vs. (2) political alliances and
> supporters (most often, meaning political allies and supporters of the
> relevant senators). These are both "political" in a sense, but they have
> very different consequences.
> Also, I hazard a disagreement with Jim Lingren on factual matters only with
> fear and trembling (is the man ever wrong?), but I believe that Eisenhower's
> appointments in the South -- the likes of John Minor Wisdom and Clement
> Haynesworth -- were a cut above "the usual old sort."
> Michael W. McConnell
> University of Utah College of Law
> 332 S. 1400 East Room 102
> Salt Lake City, UT 84112
> -----Original Message-----
> From: James Lindgren [mailto:jlindgren at WORLDNET.ATT.NET]
> Sent: Monday, April 23, 2001 10:05 PM
> To: CONLAWPROF at listserv.ucla.edu
> Subject: Re: Once upon a time . . .the answer
> Ray Solomon did a terrific piece in the (1982?) Am. Bar Found. Res.
> Journal on the history of federal judicial appointments to the Circuit
> Courts of Appeals (there aren't enough Sup. Ct. appts to generalize) in
> the first half of the 20th century. The main theme was almost precisely
> the question asked (though focused on appointments): which Presidents
> appointed judges to push a political agenda? He looked at lots of
> letters, hearings, memoirs, etc.
> Every President does some politically motivated appointments, but which
> ones chose people to push a political agenda--instead of picking the
> lions of the bar, or heavy contributors, or friends of the Senators, or
> stalwart members of their party?
> The Answer (as I recall):
> TR-after his first couple of years and he realized how important the
> judges were to his agenda.
> Wilson-from day one he knew that he needed a different sort of judge in
> tune with the regulatory state and appointed them.
> FDR-started out picking lions of the bar, but after a couple years
> switched to those in step with his political agenda.
> Most of the rest pretty much picked the standard old sorts of judges.
> So the picking for political agenda reasons (more than just competence
> or connections) started with TR and Wilson.
> Ray's article ends I think with FDR in 1945.
> I don't know what Truman did, but Eisenhower picked the usual old sort,
> not politicos he agreed with. Probably all Presidents from Kennedy on
> picked mostly judges because of their agenda (I don't know how political
> Gerry Ford's picks were, but he certainly picked Republicans). Kennedy,
> however, as A. Amar has pointed out, picked segregationist judges in the
> South, who were politically much less pro-Civil Rights than the
> Eisenhower Southern appointees.
> Ray's article is a very nice piece of work that helps me understand
> better not only how we got the judiciary we have, but the government we
> Jim Lindgren
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