Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dems control U.S. Courts of Appeals

Everyone is rightly concerned about the ideologies of those on the U.S. Supreme Court.  However, often forgotten is that only a very small fraction of court decisions are ever reviewed by that court.  For most federal court decisions the final stop are the U.S. Courts of Appeals (Circuit Courts of Appeals).  Every President tries to get ideological allies appointed to the federal courts.  Now, Democratic appointees outnumber Republican appointees on the U.S. Courts of Appeals.  Not all these judges will follow the line of the President or party that got them the essentially life-time job.  Most however, will.  Research shows that Democrat-appointed and Republican-appointed judges generally vote in different directions in the hot-button issue cases.  We can expect the Courts of Appeals to swing markedly left.  In some cases this may be a good thing, (e.g. rights of criminal defendants, privacy, First Amendment rights of individuals) but it does not bode well for Second Amendment cases where the Supreme Court has, thus far, refused to clarify many important points about the Amendment.  Stay tuned.

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