Gavel Grab

Obama Overtakes Bush for Judicial Nominations

President Obama has moved ahead of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, for nominations made to the federal bench at this point in his presidency, but Obama lags for judges who have been confirmed.

That news from the Alliance for Progress was mentioned in a Washington Post blog that also looked ahead at the difficulty some of Obama’s nominees may face in winning confirmation before the Congress goes home for its December holiday this year.

Obama has submitted 271 judicial nominations compared to 240 for Bush in a corresponding time period. The Senate has confirmed 76 percent of the Democrat’s nominees, putting 203 judges on the bench, compared to 90 percent and 215 judges for his Republican predecessor during a corresponding period.

Last year, Obama lagged behind Bush for judicial nominations (for background, see a Gavel Grab post from January 2012).

Meanwhile, the (Raleigh) News & Observer carried a commentary by Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch entitled, “[Sen. Richard] Burr’s secret filibuster of judicial nominee is troubling.” Schofield criticized Burr’s obstruction of a federal district court nomination for federal prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker, without public explanation.

At issue is the longest-running judicial vacancy in the nation (see Gavel Grab). May-Parker is the first person of color appointed to the Eastern District of North Carolina bench, and only the second woman nominated.

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