During the weekend, New York Times publishes a history of conservative legal challenges to greenhouse gas regulations and other environmental regulations attached to West Virginia v EPA. History notes that conservative groups and their allies raise money from conservative sources and push for conservative goals, such as greater legal restrictions on federal regulation, and that WVA v. EPA case could achieve these goals.
History has noted that Republican attorneys general have filed a number of lawsuits challenging greenhouse gas regulations, some of which are pending in lower courts, including the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, which NYT write:
At least two climate lawsuits are pending before the United States Court of Appeals DC Circuit, which has eight judges appointed by Democratic presidents, nine judges elected by Republicansincluding three Trump appointees and one vacancy.
Do you notice a problem?
According to NYT there are eighteen seats in the DC circuit. And yet, as forensic observers know, there are only eleven seats in the DC Circuit. Six of the eleven judges were appointed by the presidents of the Democrats (Srinivasan, Rodgers, Millet, Pillard, Wilkins and Jackson), and four were appointed by the republican presidents (Henderson, Katzas, Rao and Walker). There is one vacancy for a candidate for Biden (and there will be a second vacancy when Ketanji Brown Jackson takes his place in the Supreme Court this summer, as well as a candidate for Biden who is also waiting for this position).
So, if there are only eleven judges in active office, where did they appear new Yorkthe numbers come from? It’s obvious NYT chose to include senior district judges in its number, which added two Democrat-appointed (Tatel and Edwards) and four Republicans (Silberman, Ginsburg, Sentel and Randolph). DC circuit lists all these judges, without explicitly mentioning who are senior, on their website. But even if senior district judges are involved, there are still only eight Republican-appointed judges.
So where did the ninth GOP judge come from? Wikipedia lists James Buckley as a senior district judge, perhaps because he was a senior district judge (while, say, former district judges Thomas Griffith and Janice Rodgers Brown are retiring in full), but he hasn’t heard a case in years (and the Wikipedia page). at least as of this afternoon, he lists it as “inactive”).
But the problem here is not just misreporting. The problem is with the inclusion of senior district judges in the balance sheet of the district court. Doing so is very misleading.
Senior district judges may sit in panels to decide cases, but senior district judges rarely hear a full load of cases. At DC Circuit, senior judges do not sit on motions or certain “complex” cases and, most importantly, do not sit on en banc panels unless they were in the original three-judge panel. Thus, the true valence of the court is that of the full en banc court
Court comment, whether from news organizations and research organizations, always focuses on the number of active judges when striving to characterize the ideological or political balance of a district court. In fact, even organizations with an interest in exaggerating conservative influence over federal courts, such as Balls and punchesdo not take into account the supreme judges when bringing out the ideological balance of the court – nor, in this matter on New York Times myself, which follows the convention to count only active judges in previous news articles discussing the balance of district courts. It is therefore rather strange that NYT chose to include senior judges in its census here (and did so not only with DC Circuit, but also with the Fifth Circuit, which will be considered conservative, whether someone counts senior judges or not).
These were not my only concerns NYT history. He compares the number of judges appointed by President Biden so far (68) to the total number appointed by Donald Trump (231). The correct comparison would be with the number Trump has appointed at this point in his term.
Regarding the story of a conservative legal Jaggernaut, the story He noted the legal challenges to the social cost of carbon of the Biden administration, but failed to mention that these challenges were unsuccessful so far (including in the shaded dock). He also suggests that the Supreme Court is ready to overturn chevron, but does not mention the Supreme Court missed this opportunity last week in this term the greatest Chevron case.
Speaking of Chevronthe story claims that Chevron is the plaintiff Chevron v. NRDCwhen in fact there was government intervention and (before it was edited) history repeatedly referred to the “veneration of Chevron” (as opposed to the two “Chevron respect “or” on Chevron doctrine “).