Gavel Grab

Archive for the ‘Judicial Vacancies’ Category

‘Malicious’ Senate Obstruction Continues for Judicial Nominees

Despite bipartisan pleas from President Barack Obama for Senate Republicans to end their filibusters of his nominees, judicial candidates continue to wait extraordinary lengths of time to be confirmed, states a New York Times editorial.

Compared to his predecessors, the average wait on a confirmation vote for Obama’s judicial nominees has been 227 days. President George W. Bush’s nominees waited an average of 175 days, according to the editorial.

Senate Republicans filibustered New York attorney Caitlin Halligan twice, leading her to withdraw from consideration last week (see Gavel Grab). If Republicans won’t stop their “malicious behavior,” then Democratic senators must step up and change Senate rules to prohibit filibusters on nominations, the editorial argues. Read more

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Judicial Vacancies, Delays of Presidential Nominees Troublesome

A First Amendment rights case connected to the roundup of wild horses in the West may have to be put on hold until a Nevada court has enough judicial staff.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks said his court won’t decide a ruling until March. Hicks noted that there are currently only four judges taking care of a caseload normally done by seven judges, and that it was one of the “busiest districts in the nation.”

Judicial vacancies continue to be on the rise in courtrooms across America (see Gavel Grab). A Washington Post opinion refers to the difficulties presidential nominees, such as judges, face in getting confirmation from the Senate.

Of the 141 Supreme Court nominees that have come before the Senate, 19 percent of those were rejected or withdrew their names, the opinion says. One of the most contentious nominees was Robert Bork in 1987. Another battle over a nominee occurred in 1965 when President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.

These fights over nominees illustrate a need for both Congress and the White House to alter their procedures on the vetting process of presidential picks, the opinion argues.

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