Sunday, October 20, 2013

Appearance on C-SPAN to talk about "Dumbing Down the Courts," applying economics to understanding judicial confirmations

The video that runs about an hour is available here.  The C-SPAN intro is not completely accurate so you might want to skip the first 30 seconds.  I would have rewritten it as this:
John Lott talked about his book, Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench, in which he argues that partisan politicians don’t like to confirm smart judges from the other political party because they’re afraid that smart judges have the ability to influence other judges.   In his book, he says that judges who graduated in the top 10 percent of their law classes have much longer confirmation processes than judges who don’t. He spoke at an event hosted by the Orange County Federalist Society.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

C-SPAN2 showing my talk on "Dumbing Down the Court"

"Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench" will be shown twice this weekend on CSPAN2.

Saturday, October 19th at 11pm (ET)
Sunday, October 20th at 3:45pm (ET)


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Latest Fox News piece: Obama, other Democrats all wrong about Republican obstruction of judicial nominees

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:

The Senate Judiciary committee will vote on either Wednesday or Thursday whether to confirm Robert Wilkins, President Obama’s nominee to the prestigious D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals --  the court often referred to after the Supreme Court as the “second highest court” in the country. 
President Obama has spared little rhetoric in threatening Republicans should they dare defeat or delay Wilkins’ nomination. When Wilkins was nominated in June, Obama accused Republicans of being “cynically” engaging in “unprecedented”obstruction of judicial nominations. 
Democrats claim that any fair consideration would guarantee Wilkins’ quick confirmation. After all, as they point out, Wilkins was quickly confirmed as a District Court judge in 2010 “without opposition.” 
But it might not be such smooth sailing, for after getting on the bench, Wilkins has made a number of controversial rulings -- recently striking down Texas' voter photo ID law and upholding aggregate campaign finance donation limits
The president and other Democrats complain that Obama’s nominees are suffering the most difficult confirmations ever. Many newspaper articles agree, such as in theNew York TimesUSA Today , and the Congressional Research Service
But, these numbers are fundamentally flawed. . . .
Continue here.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Newest Fox News piece: "What we've learned from the very partial government slimdown"

My piece at Fox News starts this way:
The government slimdown, known in some quarters as the so-called “shutdown” hasn’t lived up to the disastrous predictions.

Federal government spending has been cut by 17 percent from the scheduled increase for the 2014 fiscal year. It is only a 13 percent cut from what was being spent during 2013.

Even the final cut will be much less than these percentages since furloughed workers are extremely unlikely to lose anything.

The overall reduction is not large when considering that during the last 4-and-a-half years government spending has grown by 21 percent. 
In other words, today, even during the temporary and partial government shutdown, we are spending more than when President Obama took office.  Do Americans really believe that their lives are so much better off from the increased government spending? . . .