RI Senators on district court nominee
(Democrat - Rhode Island)
Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, who recommended McElroy to the president to replace U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi, who took senior status in October, meaning she's working a reduced schedule.
“Mary McElroy has proven herself eminently qualified to be Rhode Island’s next federal judge. Her deep commitment to fairness and impartial justice under law and her exemplary service as a public defender make her an ideal fit for the federal bench. Our Senate colleagues agree, as we saw in January when Ms. McElroy was approved without objection and by voice vote in the Judiciary Committee," the senators said in a joint email statement. " That is why it is deeply frustrating that Republican leadership has refused to put aside its partisan agenda of delaying confirmation of qualified judges and call up her nomination for a vote on the Senate floor. This obstructionism must end.”
Republican Senators from 15 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (July 19, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Wisconsin)
Senate Judiciary approves Judge Nye for Idaho federal judge; Crapo, Risch hoping for full Senate vote in Sept.
(Republican - Idaho)
Sens. Crapo and Risch introduced Nye to the Judiciary Committee at his hearing on June 21, highlighted his credentials and unanimous well-qualified rating from the American Bar Association, and urged the panel to swiftly approve his nomination.
Lindsay Nothern, spokesman for Crapo, said the two will continue pushing for Nye’s confirmation. “There were a lot of people who said we couldn’t get it out of committee, we couldn’t even get a hearing,” he said. “And we have been pushing, we did get a hearing, we have gotten the committee to approve it. So we’re staying confident that we can get a floor vote and get Judge Nye serving.”
Sen. Leahy: Senate Republicans Leave Town, Refusing to Act on Judicial Backlog And Hurting Courts Across America
(Democrat - Vermont)
Despite repeated pleas by Democrats to confirm dozens of uncontroversial judicial nominees, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to allow these confirmation votes and is sending Senators out of town for seven weeks.
Republicans have even blocked consideration of uncontroversial nominees who would fill vacancies in their home states. Their obstruction has resulted in justice delayed for Americans and a dramatic increase in the judicial vacancy rate.
The Tennessee district court nominee, Edward Stanton, who is next on the Executive Calendar, was nominated more than a year ago. He was approved by Tennessee’s two Republican home state senators but they have not been able to get this Tennessean a vote. The Wisconsin nominee to fill a vacancy on the Seventh Circuit, Donald Schott, has been blocked repeatedly from consideration on the Senate floor. He would fill a vacancy that has been unfilled 2380 days. Schott’s nomination was approved by both Wisconsin Senators, including the state’s Republican senator, but he has not been able to convince the Republican Leader to allow the nominee a confirmation vote.
Republicans have also repeatedly objected to floor consideration of nominees from Pennsylvania, Utah, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
This week, Republicans again refused to confirm a single one of the dozens of judicial nominees pending on the floor. The Republican majority has the worst record for confirming judicial nominees in the last 60 years, a fact highlighted in Politico today. Since taking over the majority last January, Senate Republicans have allowed just 22 judicial nominees to be confirmed. In contrast, in the last two years of the Bush administration, a Democratic-majority Senate confirmed 68 judicial nominees.... When Senate Republicans took over the majority last year, there were 43 judicial vacancies. Since then, vacancies have nearly doubled to 83. The number of judicial vacancies deemed to be “emergencies” by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has significantly increased under Republican Senate leadership – from 12 when Republicans took over last year to 29 today.
“Republicans should shift their focus from partisan political hopes to the Constitution and our role as Senators,” Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Thursday.
Sen. Ron Johnson on Donald Schott 7th Circuit nomination
(Republican - Wisconsin)
The nomination had been holed up in the Senate Judiciary Committee until it passed out of that panel last month -- which came after Johnson blessed the move.
Johnson spokesman Patrick McIlheran said with that step, Johnson "proactively moved the nomination forward" and showed he supports it.
"He has taken absolutely no steps to block it," McIlheran said.
Sen. Cornyn on Republican Senators support for confirming district judges
(Republican - Texas)
“Certainly on district court judges, that’s something that a number of people would like to — on our side — would like to see progress,” Cornyn said when asked whether the Senate is preparing to stop confirming judges this year. The second-ranking Senate Republican is dealing with 10 federal vacancies in Texas.
Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Executive Business Meeting
(Democrat - Vermont)
"[T]he Committee held an important judicial nominations hearing yesterday for a
nominee to fill an emergency vacancy on the Ninth Circuit, Judge Lucy Koh, as well as a nominee to the Federal district court for the District of Columbia ... there is no reason why they should not have confirmation votes this year.
I also expect that yesterday’s judicial nominations hearing will not be the last of this year, given the urgent need to fill the high number of judicial vacancies across the country.... When I was chairman in the 2008
election year, this Committee held two hearings in September 2008 for ten of President George
W. Bush’s judicial nominees, several of whom had not even been nominated by this point in
2008. All ten of those nominees were confirmed that same month.... When Senate Republicans took over the majority last year, there were 43 judicial vacancies, 12
of which were emergency vacancies. Because of Republicans’ refusal to do their jobs, vacancies
have nearly doubled to 83, and emergency vacancies have nearly tripled.... In sharp contrast,
when Democrats controlled the Senate in the last two years of the Bush administration, we had
reduced vacancies to 39 at this same point.
Before the seven-week recess the Majority Leader has scheduled to begin next week, I hope the
Chairman can persuade the Majority Leader to schedule confirmation votes on the more than two
dozen judicial nominees pending on the Senate Executive Calendar. All of these nominees have
bipartisan support and the support of their home state Senators. In fact, many of these nominees
are from states with at least one Republican senator. They include nominees from Tennessee,
Pennsylvania, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Indiana. The people of these states
should rightfully ask why the Republican Leadership refuses to take the commonsense step of
confirming these highly qualified and greatly needed judicial nominees with bipartisan support.
Republicans are also failing our justice system and the American people by continuing their
unprecedented blockade of Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination for the Supreme Court."
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley on judicial nomination hearings
(Republican - Iowa)
The powerful committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), said at Wednesday’s hearing that he has held hearings for 49 judicial nominees this Congress, while at the same point in Bush’s final two years, the Democratic-led Judiciary panel had done the same for 47 picks.
Grassley has made it clear he believes generally the Senate will stop confirming lifetime judges when the Senate recesses after this week, if only to abide by precedent. But he stressed there will be exceptions. For example, a Judiciary Committee member may want a hearing for a home-state judicial nominee well after the Thurmond rule kicks in. “I believe that there’s always exceptions to the Thurmond-Leahy rule, and I would entertain those exceptions that have been in the past,” Grassley said, who added no decisions will be made before September.
Sen. Reid: Republicans Leaving For Vacation With Work Not Done, Promises Not Kept
(Democrat - Nevada)
"As we get ready to adjourn for seven weeks, let’s look at just a few of the things that are being left behind.... How about the Supreme Court? Republicans still refuse to give Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote? ... What about basic American rights? What has Senator McConnell said or done about ensuring justice for the American people? Nothing. Here’s what one of the major publications said today. Headline: “McConnell’s historic judge blockade.”... This is nothing to be proud of.
So the Republican Leader instituted a blockade of judicial nominations. He did it last year. Last year they made history by confirming the fewest judges since the 1950s. But they’ll do even less this year.
Because of their obstruction, judicial emergencies – those courts are more cases than judges can handle – have more than doubled. That means Americans seeking justice are being denied their constitutional rights.
Here’s the issue. I’ve been there, I’ve spent a lot of time in courts. That’s what I did. I was a trial lawyer. I can remember going to both the state courts but the federal court, and they said, we’re sorry. We’re going to do criminal cases for the next few months and not do anything with civil cases. Civil cases are just as important as criminal cases. But under what the Republicans have done, the judges are going to be forced, because of the law, to do criminal cases and put the civil cases to the back"
Sen. Toomey on Baxter and Horan judicial nominations
(Republican - Pennsylvania)
Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who is locked in one of the most competitive Senate races nationwide, said he is pushing his own leadership to act on the two district court judges from his state currently idling on the Senate floor for a vote. ... After a protracted scuffle over confirming Luis Restrepo to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Toomey is back in another push over judicial nominees, lobbying for swift confirmation of Susan Baxter and Marilyn Horan to the Western District of Pennsylvania. ... in Washington, Toomey is using parliamentary tactics to try and tee up confirmation votes for Baxter and Horan, whose nominations have lingered on the Senate floor since January.
“I went down and asked unanimous consent to bring them up because the vacancies have been the longest,” the Pennsylvania Republican said. “I’ve been consistently pushing for this. I’m pushing the committee; I’m glad that they were reported out of committee successfully. One’s a Democrat, the other’s a Republican, so I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get that done.”
Sen. Hatch on Ron Russell judicial nomination
(Republican - Utah)
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the most senior Republican in the chamber, has his own judicial nominee he wants cleared soon.... Hatch, himself a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has his own pick in mind: Ron Russell, a shareholder at a Salt Lake City law firm who was nominated by Obama for the District of Utah in December. Russell is also strongly backed by fellow Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee.
“We’d sure like to have that happen because he’s a very fine man and bipartisan,” Hatch said of Russell. “I think the district court judges have a better chance of coming forward. We’ll see what we can do.” The senior Utah senator said he is bending McConnell’s ear, trying to secure a confirmation vote for Russell. But McConnell has been noncommittal to Hatch, simply responding: “We’ll see,” according to the senator’s retelling.
Sens. Crapo, Risch Praise Senate Judiciary Committee's Unanimous Vote for Judge Nye: Nomination Reported to the Full Senate for Consideration
(Republican - Idaho)
“I thank my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee for taking up Judge Nye’s nomination quickly and for unanimously reporting his nomination to the full Senate for consideration,” said Crapo following the vote. “Judge Nye has my support, the support of Senator Risch and the support of the White House. I look forward to building on that momentum when the full Senate considers Judge Nye’s nomination. The people of Idaho must be assured that they are served by well qualified judges and I will work with my colleagues to see that Judge Nye’s nomination is confirmed.”
“Judge Nye is a sound and principled jurist and I applaud my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee for unanimously voting to move his nomination to the Senate floor for a final vote.” said Risch. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to have Judge Nye’s nomination confirmed as expeditiously as possible. The people of Idaho are depending on it.”
Sen. Reid Statement On The Republican Senate Leaving For Its Longest Summer Recess In The Modern Era
(Democrat - Nevada)
“The American people expect their elected officials to try to solve problems. At the very least, the American people demand their senators to at least show up to work on a regular basis. But Senate Republicans have done neither. Instead, they are setting dubious records for the fewest working days and the fewest judges confirmed. Republicans have denigrated this institution with their obstruction."
Sen. Heitkamp Announces Unanimous U.S. Senate Committee Approval of Jennifer Puhl to Serve as Judge on 8th Circuit Court of Appeals: Long a Strong Supporter of Puhl’s Nomination, Heitkamp Introduced Puhl during Her Confirmation Hearing Last Month
(Democrat - North Dakota)
Should her nomination be approved by the full Senate, Puhl would become the first female confirmed to a lifetime appointment in a North Dakota judicial seat.
“There are few litigators who possess the courage, tenacity, and skill needed to take on the most serious crimes threatening some of our nation’s most vulnerable populations. But for nearly a decade and a half that’s exactly what Jennifer Puhl has done in North Dakota – leading the charge against human trafficking, child exploitation, and cybercrime,” said Heitkamp. “Today, my colleagues in the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary unanimously approved Jennifer to serve on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Jennifer’s legal wisdom, strong moral character, and deep understanding of the complex challenges facing Indian Country are complemented by her many accolades from law enforcement, victims of crime, and their families. Just as her years of trial work in navigating some of North Dakota’s toughest cases can support Americans across the region seeking justice, many other skilled judges who could have a similar impact are waiting to fill vacancies on courts across the country. It’s my hope that Jennifer’s nomination soon receives a vote in the full U.S. Senate, just as many other qualified nominees to fill judicial vacancies across the country also deserve votes so our justice system is able to operate as intended.”
SEN. HOEVEN: JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS JENNIFER PUHL FOR SEAT ON 8TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS
(Republican - North Dakota)
Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee has favorably reported out Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Puhl to serve on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. At a committee hearing last month, Hoeven introduced Puhl to committee members and encouraged them to approve her nomination.
“Jennifer Puhl is well qualified to serve on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and we’re pleased that the committee has favorably reviewed her,” said Hoeven. “As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, she has focused on prosecuting crimes involving child exploitation, sex offender registration, human trafficking and crimes on the Indian reservations. Puhl has a reputation for being nonpartisan and enjoys broad support on both sides of the aisle. I will continue to support her and work to get a full floor vote on her nomination.”... She has served as a federal prosecutor under two North Dakota U.S. attorneys, Drew Wrigley, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, and Timothy Purdon, who was appointed by President Barack Obama. Puhl’s nomination is supported by Lt. Governor Wrigley.
Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations
(Democrat - Vermont)
"Judge Lucy Koh was nominated four and a half months
ago to fill a judicial emergency vacancy on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I am glad the
Committee is finally taking up her nomination, and we should confirm her this year to our
Nation’s busiest Federal appeals court. That this is an election year should not prevent us from
doing our jobs. When I was chairman in the 2008 election year, this Committee held two
hearings in September 2008 for ten of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees, several of
whom had not even been nominated by this point in 2008. All 10 of those nominees were
confirmed that same month.
The district court nominee on our hearing today is Florence Pan, nominated to the U.S. District
Court for the District of Columbia. I am glad she is finally having this hearing, but there is no
reason why she should be the only other judicial nominee before us today. Todd Edelman was
nominated on the same day and to the same court as Judge Pan, and we should be considering his
nomination today. Also ready for a hearing today are nominees to district courts in Colorado,
Washington State, and Florida. The Committee has received all of the necessary material to
review each of these seven nominees, and all of them have the support of their home state
Senators. In fact, just yesterday both Senators from Colorado, including the junior Republican
Senator, wrote to the Chairman urging that the nominee to the Federal district court in Colorado,
Regina Rodriguez, be listed on a hearing. I had also hoped that five nominees to longstanding
judicial emergency vacancies in Texas would be on this hearing today. These nominees have the
support of the Majority Whip, but it appears the junior Senator from Texas is preventing them
from being on today’s hearing.... There continues to be an urgent need for this Committee to hold more hearings for judicial
nominees this year, including Chief Judge Garland. Since Republicans took over the majority
last year, judicial vacancies have nearly doubled from 43 to 83. Of these, 29 are in courts so
strained that the vacancies have been deemed “emergencies.” Despite these empty judgeships all
over the country, Republicans have allowed just 22 judicial nominees to be confirmed since last
year. In contrast, in the last two years of the Bush presidency, the Democratic majority
confirmed 68 of his judicial nominees.... Senate Democrats’
record of confirming almost 70 of President Bush’s nominees in the last two years of his
presidency, and bringing the number of vacancies down to 34, is what it looks like when the
Senate is actually doing its job.
Senate Republicans can reverse course and alleviate the judicial vacancy crisis today before the
seven-week recess the Republican Leader has scheduled. He should immediately take up the 24
judicial nominees pending on the floor. We can begin with the next district court nominee,
Edward Stanton, for the Western District of Tennessee, who has been pending since last October
and has the strong support of both of his Republican home state Senators."
Rep. Norton Testifies at Confirmation Hearing for Florence Pan, First Female Asian American Pacific Islander for D.C. District Court Judge
(Democrat - District of Columbia)
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in favor of Judge Florence Pan’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, as recommended by the Congresswoman to President Obama. She would be the first female Asian American Pacific Islander judge to serve on the U.S. district court here. Pan currently serves as an Associate Judge for the D.C. Superior Court.
“Florence Pan is an exceptional candidate with the professional experience, academic background, and leadership qualities that I am sure make her particularly well-suited for our district court,” Norton said. “I will make my best effort to see her confirmed by the committee and the full Senate.”
SEN. REID FLOOR STATEMENT: LEGISLATION BEFORE THE SENATE AND JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS
(Democrat - Nevada)
"Through their historic inaction, Republicans are refusing to treat
the Federal judiciary with the respect it deserves and the Constitution
demands.... The senior Senator from
Iowa has obstructed qualified, consensus judicial nominees .... Unlike past Judiciary Committee chairs, Senator
Grassley is content to put partisanship above a functioning judiciary.
The number of vacancies under President Obama has skyrocketed.
Republicans' obstruction is putting them in the history books--but for
the wrong reason. Last year, Senate Republicans made history by
confirming the fewest judges in a long time. This year, they seem
determined to shortchange the judiciary even further. We have a myriad
of judicial emergencies around the country, meaning the judges can't
get their work done. These courts have more cases than judges can
handle, and that has more than doubled.
Justice is being denied for millions of Americans, but under Chairman
Grassley, the Judiciary Committee spends its time playing politics, not
confirming judges.... Nowhere is that more apparent than with the
current vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court and Grassley's obstruction of
the highly qualified Chief Judge Merrick Garland. No one can find
anything dealing with his education, his qualifications, his judicial
temperament, his integrity--he is top of the line, as was indicated
some time ago by Orrin Hatch.... It is time for Senator Grassley to stop playing politics with his
committee and give Judge Garland a fair hearing. It is time for his
committee to address the numerous lower court vacancies and damaging
judicial emergencies throughout the country. The American people
deserve a functioning judicial system led by the Judiciary Committee in
the Senate. They have had enough with Republican excuses. Iowans and
the Nation are waiting. It is time for Senator Grassley and Senate
Republicans to do their job."
Sens. Bennet, Gardner Urge Judiciary Committee to Consider Regina Rodriguez Nomination: President Nominated Rodriguez in April Following Bennet, Gardner Recommendations
(Republican - Colorado)
Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner today urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to work swiftly to consider the nomination of Regina Rodriguez to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The Colorado senators wrote to Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy urging them to schedule a hearing and a vote on confirmation as soon as possible.... "Given the court's caseload, it's crucial that the Judiciary Committee move quickly and thoroughly to consider this nomination," Bennet said. "Regina Rodriguez is eminently qualified to serve on the District Court. We're confident that her impressive background in both the public and private sectors will serve her well on the federal bench."
"Regina Rodriguez has a long record of service to Colorado," said Gardner. "She is immensely qualified to serve on the federal bench, and I'm certain that her broad experience will allow her to better serve Coloradans in a new capacity as a judge on the U.S. District Court for Colorado."
Sen. Baldwin Floor statement: Judicial Vacancies
(Democrat - Wisconsin)
"We currently have
83 vacancies in the Federal courts, and 29 of those vacancies have been
declared judicial emergencies, meaning that the continuing vacancy has
caused serious problems and concerns, so they are deemed judicial
emergencies.... currently there are 24 judicial nominees on the Executive
Calendar. All of them--every one of them--have garnered majority
support of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in order to
advance to the Executive Calendar. Every one of them is deserving of a
full Senate vote.... One of Wisconsin's seats on the
Seventh Circuit has been vacant for more than 6\1/2\ years. ... it is the longest Federal circuit court vacancy
in the country. Today marks 2,378 days that this circuit court seat has
The people of Wisconsin and our neighbors in Illinois and Indiana
deserve a fully functioning appeals court. We have a highly qualified
nominee who deserves a vote from this body.
Don Schott was nominated by the President on January 12 to fill this
Seventh Circuit Court vacancy. He has strong bipartisan support. Both
Senator Johnson and I have returned our blue slips. Bipartisan
majorities of the Wisconsin judicial nominating commission have given
their support to Don Schott and have voted to advance his nomination, a
bipartisan group of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance his
nomination, and a bipartisan group of former Wisconsin bar presidents
support him.... I rise today to urge the
majority leader, the Republican leader, to schedule a vote on Don
Schott, as well as all of the other judicial nominees who are on the
Executive Calendar. The American people deserve a fully functioning
Sens. Bennet & Gardner letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Leahy
(Republican - Colorado)
"We write to request that the Senate Judiciary Committee move swiftly to schedule a hearing and a vote on the nomination of Regina M. Rodriguez to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.... Ms. Rodriguez has the experience, character, and temperament to serve on the federal bench. It is our hope that the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Regina Rodriguez as soon as possible."
Sen. Schumer Floor statement [on Senate inaction]
(Democrat - New York)
"We have failed to act on a number of issues in the last few weeks--Zika, funding the opioid crisis, sensible gun safety
measures, a Supreme Court nominee and other judicial nominees. It is stunning how little we have done our job."
Sen. Warren Unanimous Consent request for Floor votes on 4 District Court nominees who have been waiting around a year or more
(Democrat - Massachusetts)
"The Republicans have delayed and delayed and delayed and delayed until we face dozens of judicial emergencies. There is always an excuse not to take up even noncontroversial appointments. We can't get the 17 who were voted out of committee and are currently pending on the floor, we can't get the 13 who were nominated in 2015 so how about this deal. There are four district court nominees who have been waiting around for a year or more. They are from Tennessee, New Jersey, New York, and California. When President Reagan was in office, almost no uncontroversial
nominees took longer than 100 days to confirm. Let us at least give these four nominees who have been waiting nearly a year or more for their vote. The Senate can do this, it can do it quickly, and we will
be done. There is bipartisan support for every one of them.... it would take no time to confirm these judges. These are all people who have been examined by the committee, who have passed out of committee, who are pending on the floor, and who have bipartisan support. These are judges from Tennessee, New Jersey,
New York, California, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Utah,
Massachusetts, Maryland, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Indiana.
Fourteen States will be left without vital judges because of the Republican blockade."
Sen. Warren Unanimous Consent request for Floor votes on 16 District and one Circuit Court nominees
(Democrat - Massachusetts)
"In the United States, we now have dozens of judicial emergencies.... When it comes to confirming judges, Senate Republicans simply refuse to do their jobs.... Sixteen district court judges have been investigated, gone through hearings, been voted out of committee, and are pending on the Senate
floor right now. One circuit court nominee is also on this list for a vacancy that has remained vacant for more than 6 years. Fourteen States have judges on this list. About half of these nominees have been
sitting for nearly a year or more.... Democratic and Republican Senators have worked with the President to select these nominees to fill vacancies on these courts,
and those nominees deserve votes.... We shouldn't leave until we do our work."
Sen. Warren Unanimous Consent request for Floor votes on 13 District Court nominees who were nominated last year
(Democrat - Massachusetts)
"The Nation faces a judicial vacancy crisis. Ten percent of the district court judgeships in this country are empty. We face nearly
twice as many judicial emergencies as President Bush faced in 2008 or
President Clinton faced in 2000. Cases are piling up, and courts are starved for help. The Supreme Court of the United States sits paralyzed, unable to deal with some of its most challenging cases. But the majority whip is going to pack up and go home, leaving 18 judgeships vacant because--well, that is the process? This isn't a game. There is no scoreboard. You don't get to ignore a national crisis because you care more about scoring political points than keeping government functioning. President Obama's job is to nominate judges to fill vacancies, and the Republicans' job here is to lead us to confirm those judges to fill
those vacancies. Do your job."
Sen. Durbin Floor Statement Supreme Court and other federal court vacancies and nominees
(Democrat - Illinois)
"For the first moment in the history of the United States--in the history of the United States--we have a Presidential nominee sent to fill the vacancy of the late Justice
Scalia, and the Republicans in the Senate refuse to give him a hearing or a vote. That has never--underline the word ``never''--happened in the history of the United States of America. When we say do your job,
it starts at the highest Court and goes straight down to every Federal court in America. I sit on the Judiciary Committee, and what I think is particularly
galling, troubling, and worrisome is that each one of these nominees has been carefully vetted by the Department of Justice, by the FBI, by Republican staffers--everyone imaginable--culling through every aspect of their life to see if they are truly worthy of being a lifetime appointee to the Federal bench, and they all passed the test. They were all voted out of committee, and they all languish on the floor of the Senate for the very reason the Senator mentioned."
Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations
(Democrat - Vermont)
"But instead of honoring Chief Judge Garland’s service, Senate Republicans have undertaken an unrelenting campaign of partisan obstruction against his nomination to the Supreme Court.
Recently, Reid Hoffman, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of LinkedIn, penned an op-ed criticizing the Senate Republican blockade of Chief Judge Garland’s nomination:... Senate Republicans’ partisan refusal to do their jobs extends to the lower courts as well. In the 19 months that Senate Republicans have had a majority, they have allowed just 21 votes on judicial nominations. As a result, Federal judicial vacancies have skyrocketed. ... When Democrats controlled the Senate during the last two years of President George W. Bush’s administration, we worked hard to confirm judicial nominees with bipartisan support. During those two years, we confirmed 68 of President Bush’s judicial nominees and reduced the number of judicial vacancies to 34. We even held hearings and confirmation votes into late September of the election year, because filling vacancies with qualified nominees with bipartisan support is more important than scoring partisan points. Senate Republicans have not shared that priority, or else they would never have allowed judicial vacancies to nearly double from 43 to 83 since they have controlled the Senate, leaving two dozen judicial nominations pending on the Senate floor.... Even after today’s vote, there will still be 24 judicial nominations languishing on the Senate floor. One of them was reported at the same time as Judge Martinotti and has also been awaiting a vote for over eight months. We still do not have an agreement to vote on the nomination of Edward Stanton to the Western District of Tennessee. In 2010, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Mr. Stanton as the United States Attorney for that district. His current nomination is supported by his two Republican home state Senators and he was unanimously voice voted out of the Judiciary Committee."