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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Press Release

Senate confirms IA federal judge: What about 17 other Committee approved district judges?

Both Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Patrick Toomey are correct. Only senseless partisan obstruction by Senate Republicans could still prevent confirming all the Committee-approved nominees.

September 10, 2012

Contact:

Glenn Sugameli, Staff Attorney, Judging the Environment

Email gsugameli@defenders.org 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:

 

"The Senate today (89-1) finally approved one of 18 Judiciary Committee-approved nominees to fill federal district (trial) court vacancies: Executive Calendar #664, Stephanie Marie Rose, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Iowa.  Only Sen. DeMint (R-SC) voted NO.  Sens. Harkin (D-IA) and Grassley (R-IA) spoke on the Floor in strong support.  Sen. Grassley’s focus on vacancies without nominees ignores home-state GOP senators’ failures to give “blue slip” approvals that nominees need, and Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) 2008 Floor statement: “Lacking nominees for vacancies X, Y, and Z is no excuse for failing to hold hearings and votes on nominees to vacancies A, B, and C."

 

"Sen. Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) explained on the Floor today how unprecedented Republican obstruction has created and prolonged a judicial vacancy crisis and called for votes on the other 17 nominees whom he said would be confirmed with strong bipartisan support.  Leahy Calls On Senate Republicans To Drop Blockade Of Consensus Judicial Picks.

 

"In August, Republican Senator Patrick Toomey (PA) traveled to an empty courthouse and held a news conference to insist there is “no reason” not to confirm the two pending Pennsylvania federal district judges in September.  That can be done by a voice vote,” he said. “This could be done in a moment.”

 

"Both Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Patrick Toomey are correct.  Only senseless partisan obstruction by Senate Republicans could still prevent confirming all the Committee-approved nominees.

 

"There is still plenty of time and every reason to confirm all of the nominees to reduce the human costs that judicial vacancies inflict because justice delayed is justice denied.  See "In Pennsylvania, the Human Costs of Judicial Confirmation Delays; While Republicans and the White House dawdle on uncontroversial judicial nominations, real people suffer from delayed dockets and understaffed courts," Andrew Cohen essay online at The Atlantic; and “Politics may slow replacing Fresno federal judge: New federal judge might be a year away for busy court.” article By John Ellis and Michael Doyle, The Fresno Bee.

 

"For example, on September 26, 2008, the Democratic Senate confirmed 10 President George W. Bush district judges by Unanimous Consent in a few seconds.

 

"The Judiciary Committee approved all 18 (including Rose) of these district (trial) court nominees with support from every Republican and Democratic home-state senator.

 

"Judiciary Committee Republicans supported 17 of these nominees.  Most would reduce U.S. Courts-declared judicial emergency vacancies that especially delay and deny justice."

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