The looming battle over President Bush's nominees to the U.S. appeals courts might derail the Senate, but it probably won't make much difference in the federal courts. That's because Republican appointees already dominate them.
Ninety-four of the 162 active judges now on the U.S. Court of Appeals were chosen by Republican presidents. On 10 of the 13 circuit courts, Republican appointees have a clear majority. And, since 1976, at least seven of the nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court have been filled by Republican appointees.
...Even if Bush wins approval for the dozen disputed nominees who have been blocked by Senate Democrats, only one circuit would change its ideological balance — hardly a seismic shift. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, now evenly divided, would become 10-6 Republican.
Though it remains a staple of conservative rhetoric that the courts are "out of control" and driven by "liberal activists," the GOP's control of the White House for 24 of the last 36 years has given Republicans — if not conservatives — a firm grip on the federal judiciary.
But the fact is that party labels don't necessarily mean much on the bench...
The propensity for the reichwingers to label judges "Activists" - as if that should be something negative - simply because they decide in favor of the rule of law over what certain senators and their ilk think/feel the ruling should be is yet another ploy to monger fear to the pedestrian populace in hopes that we don't think it through. This is yet another case of the pots calling the kettles black.