Giuliani’s Liberal Judge Problem
Rudy may be talking the “strict constructionists” talk, but it seems he didn’t walk the walk while mayor of NYC.
A Politico review of the 75 judges Giuliani appointed to three of New York state’s lower courts found that Democrats outnumbered Republicans by more than 8 to 1. One of his appointments was an officer of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges. Another ruled that the state law banning liquor sales on Sundays was unconstitutional because it was insufficiently secular.
A third, an abortion-rights supporter, later made it to the federal bench in part because New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a liberal Democrat, said he liked her ideology.
Cumulatively, Giuilani’s record was enough to win applause from people like Kelli Conlin, the head of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, the state’s leading abortion-rights group. “They were decent, moderate people,” she said.
“I don’t think he was looking for someone who was particularly conservative,” added Barry Kamins, a Democrat who chaired the panel of the Bar Association of the City of New York, which reviewed Giuliani’s appointments. “He picked a variety from both sides of the spectrum. They were qualified, even-tempered, academically strong.”
This obviously makes me feel better (especially the part about picking judges from both sides), but I can imagine it’ll give a lot of conservatives heartburn. It’ll be interesting to see how he addresses this. I mean, just because somebody is from one side or the other doesn’t mean they won’t live up to Giuliani’s “test.”
Or, does Giuliani really have a test?
Though at least 50 of his 75 appointees were registered Democrats (only six were registered Republicans), Giuliani also won praise for, some say, appointing fewer judges with ties to local Democratic politics than his predecessors.
“It was not people coming out of the clubhouses, which is what I’d seen earlier,” said Charles Moerdler, a member of the Commission on Judicial Nominations who had served other mayors in the same capacity. “I did not support Rudy (the first time he ran) because he was too conservative for me, so I was very alert to that, but I didn’t see any litmus tests on his part,” he said.
Still, this is something that’ll be hard to shake…8 to 1?
Good luck with that one Rudy.