Battle Over Supreme Court Seat Seen as ‘Tip of the Iceberg’

The stalemate over filling a Supreme Court vacancy is sparking more media coverage nationwide of empty federal court judgeships and the Senate’s slow pace in confirming President Obama’s judicial nominees.

A McClatchy article mentioning the Senate resistance to considering a successor for Justice Antonin Scalia said that battle “is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to judicial fights on Capitol Hill.” It added about judicial vacancies and a backlog of cases, “The growing backlog is causing headaches in federal courthouses across the country, with overloaded caseloads and overworked judges and little relief in sight.”

There are 85 judicial vacancies across the nation, and 34 jurisdictions have been deemed to face a “judicial emergency,” McClatchy reported in its article about President Obama’s nomination of a federal judge to sit in Idaho.

In other coverage, The Omaha World-Herald reported, “Nebraska federal court nominee is stuck in Senate quagmire”; Huffington Post, “Judicial Vacancy Crisis Hits Home in Colorado – Literally”; and Denver Business Journal, “Colorado’s case backlog elevates it to ‘judicial emergency’ status.”