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Judging the Environment judicial nominations photo

A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

Defenders of Wildlife

Press Release

Déjà vu: Once again, Senate Republican Blockade of Judicial Nominees Worsens Vacancy Crisis

August 2, 2011


Glenn Sugameli, Staff Attorney, Judging the Environment

Email Phone (202) 772-0204  

Washington, DC--

The following statement is from Glenn Sugameli, who founded in 2001 and still heads the environmental community’s Judging the Environment project and website on federal judicial nominations and related issues:

It's déjà vu all over again."  Incredibly, continuing, unexplained refusals by unnamed U.S. Senate Republicans blocked traditional pre-recess Floor votes on 20 of 24 judicial nominees, nearly all of whom the Judiciary Committee approved without opposition.

“The American Bar Association President’s July 28, 2011 letter to Senate Leaders urged up-or-down votes on all unopposed nominees before the Senate left town until after Labor Day.

“Instead, Senate Republican obstruction perpetuates the judicial vacancy crisis by preventing votes on many nominees to the federal bench, regardless of need, bi-partisan support, and qualifications.

“Almost a year ago, after President Obama urged Senate Republicans that ‘It’s time to stop playing games’ with judicial nominees, a pre-Fall 2010 recess Senate Republican Blockade of 23 Judicial Nominees Worsened the Vacancy Crisis.

“Now, as then, Republican gridlock is blocking nominees who would fill judicial emergencies, those with home-state Republican Senator support, and those the Committee unanimously approved months ago.

 “Justice delayed is justice denied, as current and announced federal judicial vacancies have multiplied to more than 110, and “judicial emergencies declared by the U.S. Courts have soared from 20 to (now) 34.

“Urgent health, safety, environmental and other cases require that judicial vacancies be filled now, as recognized by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, federal Chief Judges, the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, and countless Editorials Boards and commentators from across the nation.”