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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


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ADL Resolution on Judicial Vacancy Crisis (11/17/12)
As adopted at ADL’s Annual Meeting, November 17, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois: Resolved that the Anti-Defamation League reaffirms its existing policy to urge both political parties to take every step to avoid politicization of the judicial nomination and confirmation process and to call upon the leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate to more expeditiously exercise their Constitutional responsibilities to address the serious problem of Federal judicial vacancies; and Be it Further Resolved that the Anti-Defamation League opposes the use of procedural and parliamentary practices (including withholding blue slips and filibusters) to delay or prevent the confirmation of nominees who are deemed well-qualified by appropriate bar associations.

American Bar Association, Laurel Bellows, President Letter to President Obama Regarding Adequate Judicial Resources (11/14/12)
"Judicial Nominations and Confirmations ... If there are no additional confirmations in the waning months of this Congress, the 113th Congress will open with a staggering 92 or more judicial vacancies to fill—almost the same number of vacancies that existed at the start of the 112th Congress. We ask that you urge Senate leaders before the 112th Congress adjourns sine die to schedule up-or-down votes, at a minimum, on the 15 nominations pending on the Senate calendar that were reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee with no or minimal opposition.... we urge you to redouble your efforts to make the prompt filling of judicial vacancies a priority of your administration"

Hispanic National Bar Association Letter to Senate Leaders (09/25/12)
"Fernando Olguin and Jesus Bernal, who have been nominated for seats in the Central District of California, and William Kayatta, who has been nominated to the First Circuit in Maine, are all highly qualified, noncontroversial candidates with bipartisan support who were voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice. Despite their qualifications and the lack of any substantive opposition to their nominations, they have been pending on the Senate calendar for months – Mr. Olguin and Mr. Bernal for over two months, and Mr. Kayatta for over five months – waiting to be confirmed. This is especially concerning considering both Mr. Bernal and Mr. Olguin are nominated to seats that have been deemed judicial emergencies, and Mr. Kayatta is nominated for the First Circuit. The fact that Congress is adjourning without confirming these candidates is of great concern, and is a disservice to the Federal Courts and the people they serve. ...It is of vital importance that qualified, noncontroversial nominees are confirmed as quickly as possible. With that, we again urge your consideration of the Latino nominees and HNBA endorsed nominees currently pending on the Senate Calendar.

Confirm Robert E. Bacharach to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (07/30/12)
Letter from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to the U.S. Senate

American Bar Association Letter to Senate Leaders from ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III (06/20/12)
"Amid concerns that the judicial confirmation process is about to fall victim to presidential election year politics through the invocation of the “Thurmond Rule,” I am writing on behalf of the American Bar Association to reiterate our grave concern for the longstanding number of judicial vacancies on Article III courts and to urge you to schedule floor votes on three pending, noncontroversial circuit court nominees before July and on district court nominees who have strong bipartisan support on a weekly basis thereafter.... Both William Kayatta, Jr. of Maine, nominated to the First Circuit, and Robert Bacharach of Oklahoma, nominated to the Tenth Circuit, have the staunch support of their Republican senators. Richard Taranto, nominated to the Federal Circuit, enjoys strong bipartisan support, including the endorsement of noted conservative legal scholars."

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (05/21/12)
"Mr. Watford’s stellar background, his keen intellect, his commitment to fairness, and his utmost respect for the Constitution and the rule of law all make him an ideal candidate. ... Given his experience, and the manner in which he has conducted himself throughout his career, it is no wonder that Mr. Watford's nomination has garnered strong support, from across the political and philosophical spectrum, among those who know him best."

People For the American Way (05/21/12)
"Watford’s confirmation would also add much-needed diversity to the circuit. Of the 29 seats for active judges on the Ninth Circuit, only one is currently occupied by an African American judge."

Letters and Oklahoma Bar Association Resolution Supporting Robert Bacharach Tenth Circuit Nomination attached to Sen. Coburn Introduction at Hearing (05/09/12)
From: Judge Miles-LeGrange, Chief District Court Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma; o Fellow members of the Federal Bar Association Lawrence R. Baca, Lauren L. Fuller, and Fern Bomchill; o Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Law Joseph Harroz, Jr.; o General Counsel and lecturer at Oklahoma City University Mr. J. William Conger; o Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at Oklahoma City University Lawrence K. Hellman; o President of the Oklahoma County Bar Association Laura McConnell-Corbyn; and o Crowe & Dunlevy attorneys William G. Paul and Harry A. Woods, Jr. • Oklahoma Bar Association passed resolution praising Judge Bacharach’s legal abilities and supporting his confirmation to the circuit court.

Fern C. Bomchill Letter on Robert Bacharach's 10th Circuit Nomination & Judicial Vacancies (03/17/12)
"I have known Judge Bacharach for over six years through our work together for the Federal Bar Association (the "FBA"). ... the FBA has been concerned over the judicial vacancy crisis and, without supporting individual candidates, has worked toward fIlling these vacancies with qualifIed candidates. Therefore, as the FBA President, I applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee for its efforts toward addressing these vacancies. As an individual, I urge you to approve Judge Bacharach's well-deserved nomination."

Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary calls on Senators to put politics aside, (02/10/12)
U.S. Circuit Court nominee has bipartisan support, impeccable credentials

Lawrence R. Baca Letter Urging Senate to Confirm Robert Bacharach to Tenth Circuit (02/09/12)
"I have known Judge Bacharach for over a decade and know him to be a man of the highest intelligence and exceptional integrity. I know Judge Bacharach from my work with the Federal Bar Association (FBA); I am a Past President of the FBA (2009-2010). However, because the FBA does not take official positions on the nominations of judges, my endorsement of Judge Bacharach is personal. ... I write you primarily from the perspective of an American Indian bar leader. I have served as President of the National Native American Bar Association three times and am currently its Treasurer. ... I have every confidence that Judge Bacharach can analyze and address any federal Indian law issue that would come before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and render a sound, fair and well-reasoned opinion. Judge Bacharach is an excellent nominee for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals."

Sheppard A. Guryan Letter Supporting Patty Shwartz Nomination to Third Circuit Court of Appeals (01/09/12)
"I have known Patty for more than thirty years. We clerked, at different times, for the same federal Judge, the late Honorable Harold A. Ackerman, who instilled in all of us the qualities of decency, fairness, and integrity which have marked the professional and private life of Judge Shwartz. Patty Shwartz is incredibly bright, thoughtful, serious. diligent, good natured, self-effacing with a wisdom borne of curiousity and aptitude. In everything she has done-as an attorney, a prosecutor, a magistrate Judge-she has excelled. The Third Circuit will be well-served."

Letter from 53 Law Professors Urging Hearing & Prompt Vote on Victoria Nourse v. Sen. Ron-Johnson "One-Person-Filibuster" (07/14/11)
"We urge you to hold a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and seek a prompt vote for Seventh Circuit nominee Victoria F. Nourse.... Purely as a matter of process, this delay raises serious questions about whether the Senate is fulfilling its constitutional role to provide the President’s nominees with a prompt hearing and full Senate vote. ... A nominee of sterling credentials, who has served her country under Republicans and Democrats, who was approved by a state merit commission, and praised by the A.B.A., should not be subject to unending delay. For a single Senator from one state within the Circuit to assert a hold, months after the nomination was complete, undermines Wisconsin’s meritbased selection system, blocking highly qualified nominees from a hearing and a vote....A hold without reason is an arbitrary Senatorial process, for any nominee of any party. It allows one Senator the ability to bar a hearing and a vote on a nominee with broad based support. The effect is an unbreakable one-person-filibuster."