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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Judging the Environment In The News

Links to Articles, Editorials, Commentary, Blogs, Radio and TV about the Judging the Environment project
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Record judge vacancies could see Trump recast courts (The Review [Alliance, OH], 01/31/17)
By appointing federal judges with similar views, Trump could make it harder for future administrations to secure courtroom approvals for new climate rules for decades to come. "It's a very serious problem," said Glenn Sugameli, an attorney for the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife who tracks federal judge vacancies and nominations. "It does create more opportunities for bad judges to get confirmed, for bad decisions to be issued, and for courts to tilt."

Record Judge Vacancies Could See Trump Recast Courts (Standard-Examiner [Ogden, UT], 01/30/17)
Trump is a foe of environmental regulations who is working quickly to undo rules, programs and agreements backed by President Obama to slow global warming. By appointing federal judges with similar views, Trump could make it harder for future administrations to secure courtroom approvals for new climate rules for decades to come. “It’s a very serious problem,” said Glenn Sugameli, an attorney for the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife who tracks federal judge vacancies and nominations. “It does create more opportunities for bad judges to get confirmed, for bad decisions to be issued, and for courts to tilt.”

JUSTICE FOR ALL? This is Trump’s chance to build an anti-environment federal judiciary (Grist, 01/30/17)
John Upton: By appointing federal judges with similar views, Trump could make it harder for future administrations to secure courtroom approvals for new climate rules for decades to come. “It’s a very serious problem,” said Glenn Sugameli, an attorney for the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife who tracks federal judge vacancies and nominations. “It does create more opportunities for bad judges to get confirmed, for bad decisions to be issued, and for courts to tilt.”

Indiana’s judicial nominees headed toward disappointment (Indiana Lawyer, 12/28/16)
Marilyn Odendahl: Attorney Glenn Sugameli asserts there is no reason for the Senate to delay confirmations for the nominees waiting for a floor vote. These individuals have already cleared many of the hurdles to a final vote, including being vetted by the FBI and the American Bar Association and getting the approval of the judiciary committee. Sugameli is the founder of Judging the Environment, a nonprofit judicial watchdog organization. He does not see any reason that Donnelly and Young could not push forward Ong’s nomination. Also, he said, it is conceivable that Young could support Selby, a partner at Ice Miller LLP in Indianapolis, for the Chicago-based court. Overall, the federal courts have 105 vacancies with 38 having been designated a judicial emergency, including the vacancy in the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The empty seats coupled with some Republican senators, namely from Idaho and Texas, clamoring for their nominees to be confirmed, could prompt the Senate could act. “I think there’s going to be pressure on the new Senate to show they can do their job,” Sugameli said, noting “a pretty easy” accomplishment would be to confirm the pending nominees.

Friday round-up (SCOTUSBlog, 10/14/16)
Edith Roberts, Editor: • At The Progressive Pulse, Melissa Boughton reports that “there have been 638 editorials written by more than 300 editorial boards in every U.S. state urging the Senate to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland.” [Judging the Environment's Editorial compilation]

More than 300 editorial boards across the nation have called for hearings on Obama’s Supreme Court nomination (Progressive Pulse [NC], 10/13/16)
Melissa Boughton: "There have been 638 editorials written by more than 300 editorial boards in every U.S. state urging the Senate to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland. Veteran D.C. court watcher and environmental policy advocate Glenn Sugameli released a state-by-state compilation of excerpts and links to the editorials. Of the editorial boards included in calls for the Senate to act, 60 endorsed a Republican for President in 2008, 2012 or both.... Twenty-one of the editorials Sugameli provides links to are from North Carolina."

Law professor calls for Selby to be confirmed to 7th Circuit (Indiana Lawyer, 10/07/16)
Marilyn Odendahl: "Glenn Sugameli, attorney and founder of the group Judging the Environment, believes the nominees for the circuit courts who have passed through the committee could still get a vote by the full Senate before the end of the year.... Sugameli said Schott could be a floor vote after the presidential election. But he is more confident that Winfield Ong will be confirmed for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Ong was nominated in January 2016 to fill the seat of Judge Sarah Evans Barker, who took senior status in June 2014. The judiciary committee unanimously approved Ong’s nomination in June 2016. Coats is supporting Ong’s nomination because the Southern District vacancy has been labeled a judicial emergency. “I’m still optimistic,” Sugameli said of the potential for judicial nominees to be confirmed. “There is such a need to fill long-term vacancies, many of which have been declared judicial emergencies, and so many home state Republican senators pushing for (the nominees), I think there will be a critical mass to push for action.”"

On Confirming Judges, Senate Just Says No (Jost on Justice: Law & Justice Blog, 09/16/16)
Kenneth Jost: Even as unfilled judicial vacancies have more than doubled over the past two years, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has now all but shut down consideration of any of Obama’s judicial nominees. The 90 vacancies include 34 that are characterized as “judicial emergencies” based on caseload figures. The policy extends to noncontroversial judicial nominees for U.S. district courts even when supported by home-state Republican senators, according to Glenn Sugameli, who has been tracking federal court nominations since 2001 on a website now called JudgingtheEnvironment.org. Sugameli, who now works as a staff attorney for Defenders of Wildlife, calls the obstruction “unprecedented, unjustifiable, and harmful to businesses and individuals for whom justice delayed is justice denied.”... McConnell defends the Senate’s current record by noting that the Senate has confirmed a few more Obama judges, 329 in all, than it did for Bush in his eight years: 326. Sugameli says the comparison is misleading because of the larger number of vacancies in the Obama years.

Heightened Pressure for Senate to Act on Court Nominees, Including Garland (Gavel Grab [Justice at Stake blog], 09/06/16)
“There is absolutely no reason why all of these judges should not be confirmed, other than sheer obstructionism,” Glenn Sugameli, a lawyer and founder of the nonprofit group Judging the Environment, told the newspaper.

These Republican Senators Want Their Judicial Nominees Confirmed. Majority Leader McConnell Isn’t Listening. (Medium, 08/04/16)
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: "When the U.S. Senate left for a seven-week summer recess last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R. Ky., continued to ignore repeated pleas from Republican and Democratic Senators to hold votes on 20 district and circuit court nominees pending on the Senate floor. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved all but one of these nominees on unopposed voice votes (and the other was approved on a bipartisan 13–7 vote). Republican Senators with pending nominees aren’t happy. In fact, all 16 Republican senators who have a nominee (or nominees) pending on the Senate floor have spoken favorably about them and want to see a confirmation vote, as have other Republican senators with nominees who are still in committee. [Link to Judging the Environment compilation] These senators need to keep talking about and urging — and demanding — that McConnell schedules votes after recess. Unless McConnell hears from them and obliges, Americans seeking justice will continue to face an overworked and understaffed federal judiciary made worse by this Senate majority’s inaction. Here’s a sampling of what Republican senators with nominees on the floor have said, listed in order of nomination — beginning with a Tennessee nominee who’s been waiting since May 2015: ... When senators return from their recess next month, they could swiftly take up all 20 nominees pending on the floor — if McConnell will allow it. And he should, because the matter is urgent: Five of these nominees would fill judicial emergencies — a designation by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts — and in total, since Republicans took control of the Senate in January 2015, judicial emergencies have skyrocketed from 12 to 30. Of course, one nomination still pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee is Merrick Garland’s to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Supreme Court vacancy watch Day 89: Pat Toomey's 'political stunt' fails (Daily Kos, 05/12/16)
Joan McCarter: Glenn Sugameli, a lawyer and activist who tracks court vacancies, said Mr. Toomey is cherry-picking nominees even though he knows the full Senate would never agree to take them up out of order. “It’s a political stunt that certainly appears to be for optics,” Mr. Sugameli said. “Objectively, he must have known that this would not work. If he had been serious he could have joined Sen. Casey on the floor the day before.”

Toomey presses to get Pa. judicial nominees fast-tracked for vote (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [PA], 05/12/16)
Glenn Sugameli, a lawyer and activist who tracks court vacancies, said Mr. Toomey is cherry-picking nominees even though he knows the full Senate would never agree to take them up out of order. “It’s a political stunt that certainly appears to be for optics,” Mr. Sugameli said. “Objectively, he must have known that this would not work. If he had been serious he could have joined Sen. Casey on the floor the day before.”

Letter: Judicial appointments are mired in politics (Times-News [Burlington, NC], 05/10/16)
Glenn Sugameli heads the nonpartisan Judging the Environment judicial nominations project: "Based on my 15 years of tracking federal judicial vacancies and nominations, I offer some national and historical context on your persuasive editorial ... . Justice delayed will continue to be justice denied for North Carolina people and businesses, as U.S. Sen. Richard Burr blocks former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson’s nomination to the Eastern District of North Carolina trial court. In addition to her “bonfides” you cite, the American Bar Association gave Timmons-Goodson’s nomination its highest rating: unanimously well-qualified. Senator Burr previously blocked, without explanation, President Obama’s first nominee, who Sen. Burr had recommended, for the same vacancy. Empty for more than a decade, it is the nation’s oldest vacancy by more than four years, and the U.S. Courts have declared it a “judicial emergency.”... Senator Burr’s position, however, is in stark contrast to his fellow Republican senators from Mississippi to Wyoming who have worked with the White House to fill all judgeships in their states, and to many more who are continuing to do so. My nonpartisan website has compiled statements by Republican Senators from 14 States supporting pending nominees and urging action to fill their judicial vacancies. Sadly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is denying a hearing on Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination, and delaying floor votes on 20 judicial nominees the Judiciary Committee approved unanimously months ago."

Though Loud, Media Voices Haven't Cracked Garland Block (Law360, 04/25/16)
"Newspaper editorial boards have run over 500 editorials calling for the consideration of an Obama-appointed U.S. Supreme Court replacement since the bitter fight over the vacancy began .... From small-town papers to large metropolitan dailies, the media have deluged the public with calls to give a hearing or vote to a successor for Justice Antonin Scalia, who unexpectedly died in February. The campaign has picked up steam since President Barack Obama tapped Merrick Garland, the politically moderate chief judge of the D.C. Circuit, for the job in mid-March. According to research compiled by Glenn Sugameli, a senior attorney and founder of the nonpartisan Judging the Environment project, the 519 editorials penned by 283 editorial boards comprise more than 90 percent of opinions on the matter."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Fresno Bee [CA] , 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Lexington Herald-Leader [KY], 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Bellingham Herald [WA] , 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Myrtle Beach Sun News [SC] , 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Charlotte Observer [NC] , 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Centre Daily Times [State College, PA], 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Herald [Bradenton, FL] , 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (McClatchy newspapers, 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Belleville News-Democrat [IL], 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Sacramento Bee [CA] , 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Modesto Bee [CA], 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Idaho Statesman, 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (The Olympian [WA], 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Tri-City Herald [WA] , 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (News Tribune [WA] , 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

Idaho and Washington state reflect big rift in Supreme Court fight (Wichita Eagle [KS] , 04/13/16)
"Glenn Sugameli, a Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney who tracks judicial nominees, said Wednesday that more than 500 newspaper editorials had urged the Senate to hold hearings."

What They’re Saying – Environmental Organizations (The White House, 03/28/16)
Here’s why members of the environmental community, like the majority of Americans, support the President’s nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. ... "Defenders of Wildlife: “Judge Garland has nearly two decades of distinguished service on our second most important court, the D.C. Circuit. He is entitled to fair consideration, including a Senate Committee hearing and a full Senate vote on his nomination.”