Conservative commentators exaggerated Democratic opposition to Bush judicial nominees


Fox News host Sean Hannity, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, and conservative legal activist Wendy Long heavily exaggerated the extent of Senate Democratic opposition to President Bush's judicial nominees in order to cast Democrats as obstructionist. In fact, Democrats have voted to confirm the vast majority of Bush's judicial nominees. In addition, more than 70 percent of appellate court nominees (35 of 51) were confirmed in Bush's first term, with the Democrats filibustering ten.

On the April 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Hannity claimed that Senate Democrats have "been after every single judicial nominee they've [the Bush administration] put up" and that "Democrats don't like any Republicans because [they] oppose all of them," while Ingraham claimed Democrats have not confirmed "very many federal appeals court judges." As a guest on the April 9 edition of the radio show Washington Watch Weekly, Long claimed that Senate Democrats "realize that in order to prevent honest, reasonable judges who will be faithful to the Constitution from getting those seats on the bench, they've got to prevent them from even coming up before the Senate." Washington Watch Weekly is produced by the conservative Family Research Council (FRC) and hosted by FRC president Tony Perkins. Long, who was once a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is legal counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network, an organization that advocates the confirmation of conservative judicial nominees.

Overall, the Senate has confirmed more than 200 Bush judicial nominations, including the confirmation on April 11 of district court nominee Paul Crotty by a vote of 95-0. noted on April 12: "If and when the Republicans allow a vote on [district court nominee J. Michael] Seabright, Bush will get his 206th judge. For all the talk of Democratic obstruction and the need for a 'nuclear option [to end Democratic filibusters of judicial nominees],' there must be hundreds more that the Democrats have blocked, right? Well, no. Two-hundred-and-five of Bush's judicial nominees have been confirmed. The Democrats have blocked exactly 10 [by filibuster]."

From the April 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: They've [Senate Democrats] attacked the vice president relentlessly. They've been after Rummy [defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld]. They've been after Condi [secretary of state Condoleezza Rice]. They've been after [former attorney general John] Ashcroft. They've been after every single judicial nominee that they've put up. Now they're after [House Majority Leader Tom] DeLay [R-TX]. Now they're after [nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John R.] Bolton.


HANNITY: You know, is there anything -- I guess the bottom line here is you Democrats don't like any Republican because you oppose all of them. Isn't that what it comes down to, [Democratic strategist and Fox News political analyst] Mary Anne [Marsh]? You don't like -- you've attacked every one of them.


ALAN COLMES (co-host): Mary Anne, Laura, thank you. Didn't we confirm a lot of judges? Didn't Democrats confirm almost every judge --

INGRAHAM: Not very many federal appeals court judges, Alan.

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