Washington (CNN) - According to the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Obama has had an easier go than his predecessor when it comes to federal bench nominations.
A look at the record indicates that Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is right, by two percent.
Wednesday, Sessions countered Democratic complaints about a slow-moving confirmation process when he said, "I do believe we ought not to unnecessarily delay persons, but I would want to say that the alacrity by which President Obama's nominations are moving far surpasses anything like the difficulties President Bush's nominees had. I've been here. I've seen it. I know that to be a fact."
As of the time he made that speech, 20 out of Obama's 60 nominations had been confirmed, coming out to 33 percent, according to records from the Library of Congress. Looking at the same point in the administration of George W. Bush, April 21, 2002, 45 out of 146 Bush nominees were confirmed, giving Bush a 31 percent batting average.
According to a report from the Brookings Instate, a nonprofit public policy organization and one of the oldest think tanks in the nation's capitol, both administrations encountered unique circumstances during the first year in office which affected the process.
"The time from vacancy to nomination during the first 14 months of the Obama administration is longer than under the Bush administration at the same point, especially for circuit nominees," says Brookings' Russell Wheeler.
The dichotomy, "may reflect the time and energy consumed by the Sotomayor confirmation and the press of other business," adds Wheeler.
However, "the Bush administration, although it had no Supreme Court vacancy at the time, was dealing with the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks," says Wheeler. "The difference may also reflect in part time consumed by American Bar Association vetting of potential nominees, which Obama brought back into the pre-nomination stage."