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Sen. Rubio continues to withhold blue slip for Mary Barzee Flores hearing
(Republican - Florida) 08/18/15
The vacancy in the Southern District [of Florida] has a pending nominee: former Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mary Barzee Flores. Nominated by President Barack Obama on Feb. 26, Barzee Flores, now a shareholder at Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, has waited nearly six months for a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing. The hearing can proceed only after U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio return so-called blue slips to the Senate Judiciary Committee confirming their support for home-state nominees. Nelson has returned the slip, but Rubio has not, Ferrulo said. "The Senate Judiciary Committee is still conducting a full review of the nominee's background and record," Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos said in an email Tuesday. "After that review is complete, Senator Rubio will determine how to proceed."

Sen. Klobuchar on nominee Wilhelmina Wright's chances in Congress for federal judgeship
(Democrat - Minnesota) 08/13/15
“She did a good job in the hearing, she was very prepared and we appreciated her humble manner,” Klobuchar said. “At this point, we don’t expect any problems except the general issue of gridlock, and I am a specialist at getting around that.” Klobuchar calls Wright a “no-drama nominee.” She told the Senate judiciary committee in July that “she’ll make a fine district judge.” Then in a friendly nod toward Sen. Charles Grassley, judiciary committee chair and a Republican, Klobuchar added, “You would even like her in Iowa.”... Klobuchar noted that Grassley has two Iowans in the pipeline whom he is trying to get approved as federal judges. So that is likely to help Wright get confirmed as part of a package.

Sen. Crapo: Process to find replacement for Judge Lodge is 'proceeding'
(Republican - Idaho) 08/13/15
Asked how things are going on finding a replacement for U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, who took senior status July 3 but has been in a just-concluded terrorism trial ever since, with no replacement in sight, Sen. Mike Crapo told Eye on Boise, “They are proceeding.” Crapo said he’s heard the speculation that he and fellow Republican Sen. Jim Risch are stalling the process to wait until a newly elected Republican president can make the appointment. “That’s simply not true,” Crapo said. “We are working very aggressively and trying to move forward the process. The Senate advises and consents, the president nominates. We are in that process of advising and working with the White House.”

SENATE JUDICIARY DEMS URGE LEADER MCCONNELL TO PICK UP THE PACE AND SWIFTLY SCHEDULE CONFIRMATION VOTES ON PENDING JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS
(Democrat - California, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Illinois, New York) 08/06/15
Letter to Sen. McConnell: "We write today to urge you to address the growing judicial vacancy crisis by swiftly scheduling confirmation votes .... There are currently 14 non-controversial judicial nominations on the Executive Calendar. Every single one of them was reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote and with bipartisan support. It has been four weeks since the last judicial nominee was scheduled for a vote and you have only allowed votes on five judicial nominees to be scheduled this year. As a result, the number of judicial vacancies has soared. Among those many vacancies are now a staggering number of what the non-partisan Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts deems "judicial emergency" vacancies. When you became the Majority Leader in January, there were a dozen judicial emergencies. Now, the number of judicial emergencies has increased by 158% since your swearing in as Leader. There are currently 31 judicial emergencies and these vacancies are affecting communities across the country. When the roles were reversed and the Senate was led by Democrats in the penultimate year of the Bush Administration, the Senate acted responsibly. By this point in 2007, the Senate had confirmed 26 judges. That is more than five times the number you have allowed this year."

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations
(Democrat - Vermont) 08/05/15
"It took four months for the Republican majority to schedule a vote on a single judicial nomination. So far this year, the Republican-controlled Senate has allowed confirmation votes on just five judicial nominees. The slow trickle of confirmations is a dereliction of the Senate’s constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on judicial nominees. Since the beginning of this year, the number of Federal court vacancies deemed to be “judicial emergencies” by the non-partisan Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has increased by 158 percent. There are now 31 judicial emergency vacancies that are affecting communities across the country. ... by this time in 2007, when I was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, we had confirmed 26 judges.... The delay and obstruction is occurring even though all 14 of the current judicial nominees pending on the Executive Calendar have bipartisan support and were voted out of the Judiciary Committee by voice vote.... Of great concern is the treatment of Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo who will fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Pennsylvania.... Mr. Bonilla has been nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and would be the first Hispanic judge to hold a seat on that Court."

Sen. Gardner Announces Evaluation Committee to Fill Colorado Judgeship
(Republican - Colorado) 08/03/15
Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today announced a Judicial Evaluation Committee that will begin vetting applicants for an upcoming vacancy on the U.S. District Court of Colorado. In April 2016, Judge Robert Blackburn will take senior status, creating a vacancy on the seven-judge bench. The number of judgeships on the court has remained the same for over 30 years, despite the state’s population growing by 65 percent and judicial workload steadily increasing. Now the court is one of the busiest in the country, with over 600 weighted cases per judgeship. Filling this vacancy quickly would keep the District Court fully staffed and at least maintain the status quo.... “I take my responsibility to recommend Colorado judicial nominees to the President seriously and there is particular urgency in filling this vacancy,” said Gardner. “I am confident that the members of the Committee, who are some of Colorado’s finest legal experts, will thoroughly review all applications and make careful recommendations based on each applicant’s merits and qualifications. I encourage Coloradans interested in serving on the District Court to submit an application, and I look forward to seeing the Committee’s recommendations.”

Sen. Leahy: Undermining Our Third Branch and Delaying Justice
(Democrat - Vermont) 07/31/15
"Since the beginning of the year, the number of vacancies deemed "judicial emergencies" by the nonpartisan Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has more than doubled....At this same point in President Bush's second term, after the Democrats regained control of the Senate and I became chairman of the Judiciary Committee, we confirmed 25 judges. That is five times as many judges confirmed under a Democratic majority with a Republican president than today's Senate Republican majority with a Democratic president. The American people should demand that the Senate act. Currently, there are 14 judicial nominees pending on the Senate floor and simply waiting for an up-or-down vote. ... Judge Restrepo also stands to make history. If confirmed, he will be the first Hispanic judge from Pennsylvania to ever serve on the Third Circuit and only the second Hispanic judge to serve on that court. This is hardly a controversial nominee, and yet the Republican majority refuses to schedule a confirmation vote for Judge Restrepo. There are also several qualified nominees being blocked from their appointment to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, a court commonly referred to as the "People's Court" because it allows Americans to seek prompt justice against their government. Right now there are eight active judges on the CFC appointed by President Bush and only three active judges appointed by President Obama. The five current nominees waiting for a confirmation vote are, like Judge Restrepo, highly qualified and entirely uncontroversial. They were all nominated more than a year ago, and were approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee twice .... During the last two years of the Bush administration, Democrats confirmed 68 judicial nominees. So far, Republicans have confirmed five."

Sen. Schumer seeks Floor vote on three unopposed NY district court nominees including two to fill judicial emergency vacancies
(Democrat - New York) 07/30/15
"I rise today to address the growing crisis of judicial vacancies in our Federal and district courts.... In my home State of New York, in the Western District, there is not a single active district judge--zero. The Western District has one of the busiest caseloads in the country. It handles more criminal cases than Washington, DC, or Boston or Cleveland. The delays for civil trials are by far the worst in the country. ... Now, under the new Republican Senate, more than half the year into this new Congress, the Republican leadership has scheduled votes on only five Federal judges. It is July. They have scheduled votes on five Federal judges. That is a disgrace. For context, in the seventh year of President Bush's Presidency, the Democratic Senate--we were in charge then--approved 25, compared to 5 here. That is a direct one-to-one comparison ... there are 14 noncontroversial judges on the Executive Calendar, including 3 highly qualified judges for New York."

Sen. Grassley blocks Floor votes on unopposed nominees to fill judicial emergency vacancies
(Republican - Iowa) 07/30/15
"So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Senator Schumer."

WESTERN WASHINGTON: Senators Murray and Cantwell and Congressman Reichert Announce Formation of Judicial Selection Committee
(Democrat - Washington) 07/29/15
"U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) announced that they have formed a new judicial selection committee to select potential candidates for the seats on the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. The seats are considered vacant upon notice of a sitting judge's intention to take senior status, for which Chief Judge Pechman and Judges Lasnik and Robart are eligible. The committee is comprised of three Democrats and three Republicans from Western Washington, who will be charged with advertising for the open position and screening potential candidates. The committee will then present three candidates to Murray and Cantwell, who will interview them and, if they are acceptable, recommend them to President Obama. The President will make the final decision regarding selection of nominees and formal nomination. The senators from Washington state will only support candidates who have been selected by this bipartisan committee."

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Pending Nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
(Democrat - Vermont) 07/23/15
"Last week, the junior senator from Arkansas objected to a request to vote on any of the five nominations to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that have been awaiting confirmation for more than ten months. ... during the Bush administration, the Senate confirmed nine judges to the CFC – with the support of every Senate Republican. Only three CFC judges nominated by President Obama have received confirmation votes. This is the same double standard that Senate Republicans tried to apply to President Obama’s D.C. Circuit nominees .... Not a single Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee raised a concern about the court’s caseload either during the Committee hearings on these nominations last year or during the Committee debate last year or this year. In blocking these five nominees, the junior senator from Arkansas ignores the Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous votes on these nominations in 2014 and again this year. He also disregards the Chief Judge who speaks on behalf of the entire court and the five past presidents of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association who have urged the Senate to fill these vacancies. In 2003, the now-Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee engaged in a debate on the caseload of this court. He said then: “I feel it is unfair to these Court of Federal Claims nominees to deny them a seat by bringing up this point at this late date.” I hope that the junior senator from Arkansas will heed these words and remove his objection to an up or down vote on these nominees.... More than half a year into this new Congress, the Republican leadership has scheduled votes to confirm only five judicial nominees. This is in stark contrast to the 25 district and circuit court judges confirmed by July 23, 2007, when the shoe was on the other foot and Democrats had regained the Senate majority in the seventh year of the Bush administration."

Sen. Reid Remarks On Highway Legislation And Republican Obstruction Of Qualified Judicial Nominees
(Democrat - Nevada) 07/22/15
"So far this Congress, Republicans have confirmed only 5 judges. By this same point in the last Congress of George W. Bush’s presidency, under my leadership, the Senate had confirmed 25 judges. Republicans are being outpaced 5-to-1. And there are real repercussions when Republicans refuse to act. If there aren’t enough judges to hear the cases that are piling up, a vacant judgeship is declared a judicial emergency. At the beginning of the year, there were only 12 judicial emergencies that deserved priority attention. Yet in the mere 7 months of this Republican-controlled Senate, that number has doubled, and is on its way to tripling. As of today, there are 28 judicial emergencies – including four judges currently pending on the floor. There are real-life consequences of Republican obstruction. Each judge Republicans block, each nomination they slow-walk, results in justice delayed. And as the legal maxim goes: “Justice delayed is justice denied.”... Perhaps the junior Senator from Arkansas should ask the Chief Judge of the Court of Federal Claims if his Court does not need new judges. The Chief Judge has pleaded for the immediate filling of those 5 vacancies, since they are creating a caseload problem for the Court. But the freshman Senator from Arkansas had his mind made up, and blocked every attempt to confirm even a single judge.... Yesterday the Washington press took notice that blocking these judges coincidentally lined up with the interests a powerful conservative law firm that is currently representing clients before the court. A Roll Call headline says: “Cotton Blocks Judges on Court Familiar to His Former Law Firm.” I don’t mean to single out the Senator from Arkansas. After all, he’s just following the Republican leader’s example. There are currently 7 district court judges awaiting votes here on the Senate floor. All 7 were reported out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously, proving they are consensus, noncontroversial candidates. So why hasn’t the Republican Leader scheduled their confirmation votes? Four of those district judge nominees are classified as judicial emergencies"

Sen. Boxer Praises President Obama for Nominating Mark Young for California's Central District Court; Boxer Recommended the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge to the President
(Democrat - California) 07/16/15
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today praised President Obama for nominating Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark A. Young to serve as U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California. Senator Boxer recommended him to the President after a thorough interview and vetting process by a bipartisan judicial advisory committee. “I applaud the President for nominating Mark Young, an experienced judge and former federal prosecutor with a track record of handling tough criminal cases,” Senator Boxer said. “I urge my Senate colleagues to move swiftly to confirm him so he can begin serving the Central District, which has been designated a judicial emergency district.”

Sen. Cotton blocks Sen. Coons request for Floor vote on all or any of five Court of Federal Claims nominees the Judiciary Committee approved on voice votes in 2014 and again in 2015
(Republican - Arkansas) 07/14/15
"[T]his is not so much about a particular nominee but the fact that the Court of Federal Claims is operating with 11 active judges, and when you include the senior judges ready, able, and willing to hear cases, they have more than 16 judges"

Sen. Coons request for Floor vote on all or any of five Court of Federal Claims nominees the Judiciary Committee approved on voice votes in 2014 and again in 2015
(Democrat - Delaware) 07/14/15
"[I]t is important for all of us in the Chamber to recognize that the Court of Federal Claims, while the actual number of cases considered may have decreased, faces a steadily increasing number of complex cases which are subject to statutory case management deadlines that drive the workload of the court and have roughly doubled in recent years from 68 back in 2005 to 113 last year and likely double that this year. So the actual number of cases may be declining, but their complexity and their workload, because of the need for them to be resolved in a certain period of time, have steadily increased ... we have a range of highly qualified nominees. Armando Bonilla would be the first Hispanic judge to hold a seat and has been with the Department of Justice. ... the President has nominated able and capable nominees and the court needs and deserves to not have to rely on senior status judges to meet its constitutional and statutory obligations."

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Pending Nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
(Democrat - Vermont) 07/13/15
"The Senate Republicans’ insistence on delaying the confirmation of qualified nominees to the Court of Federal Claims harms its ability to resolve issues of national importance in a timely and just manner. Since February 2013, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has been operating with several vacancies. Only 11 of the 16 seats on the court are occupied by active judges. We could have a court working at full strength if we confirm the five pending on the Senate Executive Calendar. All five of them were all nominated more than a year ago, and have twice been voted out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous voice vote.... One of the nominees, Armando Bonilla, would be the first Hispanic judge to hold a seat on the Court.... Armando Bonilla’s story is that of the American Dream.... During the Bush administration, the Senate confirmed nine judges to the Court of Federal Claims – with the support of every Senate Republican. So far during the Obama administration, only three CFC judges have received confirmation votes.... More than half a year into this new Congress, the Republican leadership has scheduled votes to confirm only five district and circuit court judges. This is in stark contrast to the 25 district and circuit court judges confirmed by July 13, 2007, when the shoe was on the other foot and Democrats had regained the Senate majority in the seventh year of the Bush administration."

Chairman Grassley Prepared Statement at Senate Judiciary Executive Business Meeting
(Republican - Iowa) 07/09/15
"I believe that we can do all the nominees by voice vote. I’m glad that we’re able to vote on them today and continue to process nominees. There seems to be some confusion by some on the outside about why Judge Restrepo wasn’t voted on at our last meeting. At our last markup there was a request to hold his nomination over. We had only received his answers to our written questions a couple of days before markup, and we had a request to hold the nominees over. Under our rules, any Member has that right and I honor the requests, just as Senator Leahy always did when he was Chairman. We continue to make good progress moving nominees out of Committee. This year, the Senate has held six nominations hearings for 17 nominees, including hearings for the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General. At this point in 2007, the Senate had also held hearings for 17 nominees. So the Committee is moving at the same pace it was in 2007. Furthermore, we’ll have another Nominations hearing later this month which will include more district court nominees and an executive nominee. So, we’re moving at least as fast as the pace set in 2007 at that point."

Sens. Booker & Menendez on NJ federal district court judicial emergency vacancies
(Democrat - New Jersey) 07/09/15
The vacancies have become a partisan flashpoint in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Cory Booker called the vacancies “concerning,” and said any “undue delay” in their confirmation is “unacceptable.” Booker’s fellow New Jersey Democrat, Sen. Bob Menendez called the situation “outrageous,” and said it “affects everyday people in terms of getting their day in court.” Republicans, he said, “are slow-walking these nominees and obstructing the ability for justice to be administered. That’s unacceptable.”

Sen. Cornyn letter to the editor: Best and brightest
(Republican - Texas) 07/09/15
"Ensuring federal courts in Texas have the best judges is critical, which is why I have been working with the Texas congressional delegation and the Obama administration to fill openings as they arise. Since President Obama took office, he has nominated, and the Senate has confirmed, 12 consensus nominees to fill judicial vacancies in Texas, including six in the last year. I was proud to recommend and support all these excellent judges. To guarantee the best judges for Texans, I have established the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC), a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas, to identify the most qualified candidates to help fill vacancies. The judges who have come through this process have won confirmation easily and are the kind of individuals who all can agree deserve life tenure. As a former judge, I understand the importance of high-caliber legal minds on the bench, and I will continue to work to ensure Texas has some of the best and brightest judges in these important posts."

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Leahy Statement at Executive Business Meeting
(Democrat - Vermont) 07/09/15
"Once we report out the pending nominees to the Third Circuit and to the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Committee will have finally finished its left over nominations business from last Congress. Both were first nominated last November, nearly eight months ago. Chairman Grassley will schedule another hearing for several nominees this month. On the floor, however, we currently have 11 judicial nominees reported out of this Committee by voice vote. We have confirmed only 5 judges so far this year compared to 25 judges confirmed at this same point in 2007, with a Democratic majority during the last two years of the Bush administration. I hope the nominees we report today will be considered by the full Senate without further delay."

Sen. Grassley Floor Statement Regarding Judicial Nominations and the nomination of Kara Stoll
(Republican - Iowa) 07/07/15
"Senate Judiciary Committee is treating the President’s nominees extremely fairly and there shouldn’t be any complaining about following the same standard we did in 2007."

Sen. Reid Floor Remarks On Judicial Nominees
(Democrat - Nevada) 07/07/15
"[F]or nearly 7 months, the Republican Senate has not confirmed a single appellate court judge. The nominee whom we will consider this evening will be the first Latina on the Federal Circuit. Kara Fernandez Stoll is well qualified by every measure. Her nomination was reported out of the Judiciary Committee months ago. Yet no Republican can explain why she has waited this long to have her vote. It’s all part of Republicans’ disturbing trend of neglecting their constitutional duties. According to the Congressional Research Service, the new Republican Senate has doubled the average time for the confirmation of the first circuit judge for any President in the modern era. ... The Republican Leader and his party are on pace to confirm the fewest judicial nominations in half a century. President Obama's judges are not getting a fair shake. They're bottled up in the Judiciary Committee. They’re forced to wait longer than past Congresses on the floor. I've spoken before about the nominee to the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, Luis Felipe Restrepo – another well qualified Latino nominee. The junior Senator from Pennsylvania delayed his confirmation by not returning the blue slip to advance his nomination. Before we left for recess, the Judiciary Committee delayed his hearing again. Yet the junior Senator from Pennsylvania said he is not responsible for the delay because he doesn’t sit on the Judiciary Committee. This good man has waited long enough. He has been nominated to fill a judicial emergency. Judicial emergencies have skyrocketed under Republicans’ lack of leadership. Justice delayed is justice denied. The people of Pennsylvania deserve to have him confirmed. So why doesn't the junior Senator from Pennsylvania simply ask to confirm Judge Restrepo immediately? I’m confident if that happened, we would have that matter on the calendar. We could confirm Judge Restrepo to the Third Circuit next week if Republicans would quit playing games with nominations. ... By this point, Democrats had confirmed 21 of President George W. Bush's judges. President Obama has only had 4 judges confirmed to date."

Sen. Leahy Floor Statement: NOMINATION OF KARA FARNANDEZ STOLL
(Democrat - Vermont) 07/07/15
"This glacial pace of confirmations is a dereliction of the Senate's constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on judicial nominees. ... We have 11 other consensus judicial nominations pending on the Senate Executive Calendar in addition to Ms. Farnandez Stoll. No one can credibly claim that the majority's slow pace in scheduling confirmation votes is due to a lack of nominees. This group includes another nominee who has received the strong support of the HNBA--Armando Bonilla--one of five pending nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, CFC. Like Ms. Farnandez Stoll, Mr. Bonilla's confirmation will be an historic milestone--when confirmed he will be the first Hispanic judge to hold a seat on the CFC. In less than 48 hours, the Judiciary Committee is expected to report out another HNBA-endorsed nominee, Luis Felipe Restrepo, who will fill a judicial emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Judge Restrepo was unanimously confirmed 2 years ago by the Senate to serve as a district court judge in Pennsylvania. I have heard no objection to his nomination, yet it took 7 months just to get him a hearing. ...I served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee during those last 2 years of President George W. Bush's administration and we confirmed 68 district and circuit court judges ...by this time in the seventh year of the Bush administration, the Democratically controlled Senate had confirmed 21 judges--including 18 district and 3 circuit court judges. Compare that to this seventh year of the Obama administration under Republican control, in which the Senate has thus far confirmed just four district court judges this year. ... At the start of this Congress, there were 44 vacancies, including 12 vacancies deemed ``judicial emergencies'' by the nonpartisan Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. That number has climbed to 63 vacancies, including 27 ``judicial emergency'' vacancies on our district and circuit courts. The vast majority of these vacancies are concentrated in States with at least one Republican home State Senator. Of particularly concern are four circuit court ``judicial emergency'' vacancies: two in Texas, one in Alabama, and one in Kentucky. Each vacancy has been left open for well over a year, including one in Texas that has remained vacant for almost 3 years."

Sen. Menendez on judicial nominees
(Democrat - New Jersey) 07/07/15
"Glad to vote YES for Kara Farnandez Stoll to be 1st woman of color on Fed Circuit—@Senate_GOPs shouldn’t delay justice w/other judicial noms"

Sen. Reid Floor Statement: PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS
(Democrat - Nevada) 07/07/15
"So far, the Republican leader and his party are failing catastrophically. They are intent on delaying important confirmations, even in the face of increasing judicial emergencies all over this country....for almost 7 months, the Republican Senate has not confirmed a single appellate court judge ... Luis Felipe Restrepo, has waited far too long. He has been nominated to fill a judicial emergency. Judicial emergencies have skyrocketed under Republicans' lack of leadership. Justice delayed is justice denied. The people of Pennsylvania deserve to have him confirmed. So why doesn't the junior Senator from Pennsylvania simply ask to confirm Judge Restrepo immediately? I am confident that if that happened we would have that matter on the calendar. We could confirm Judge Restrepo to the Third Circuit next week if Republicans would quit playing games with nominations. Time and time again, Democrats have asked for the fair consideration of President Obama's judicial nominations. It is not too much to ask the new majority to match the numbers of confirmations Democrats gave George W. Bush the last 2 years of his administration. By this point, Democrats had confirmed 21 of President George W. Bush's judges-to-be. President Obama has only had four confirmed to date."

Sen. Menendez statement on slow pace of judicial confirmations
(Democrat - New Jersey) 06/25/15
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, in a statement, called the slow pace of judicial confirmations "outrageous." "We have judicial emergencies and we have three nominees who are eminently qualified," the statement said. "This affects every-day people in terms of getting their day in court. The fact is, Republicans are in control and they are slow-walking these nominees and obstructing the ability for justice to be administered. That's unacceptable."

Sen. Leahy Statement at Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting
(Democrat - Vermont) 06/25/15
"Notably, once we report out the pending nominees to the Third Circuit and to the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Committee will have finally considered all the nominees held over from last Congress. ... I hope the Senators from Pennsylvania and Tennessee have convinced the Republican members on this Committee that there is no good reason for further delay, so that we can report them out today and try to make some progress on filling judicial vacancies. Unfortunately, the Republican-led Senate has not confirmed a single judge this work period. Not one. We have confirmed only four district judges so far this year, and not one circuit judge. At this point in 2007, with Democrats in the majority during the Bush administration, we had confirmed 18 judges – 15 district and 3 circuit court judges. Six of the 18 first had hearings in 2007, were reported to the floor without needless delay and confirmed in a timely manner. Currently pending on the floor we have 12 judicial nominees who were reported out of this Committee by voice vote – 6 were reported unanimously last year and again this year."

Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley Statement delaying scheduled votes on Judge Restrepo' Third Circuit nomination and others
(Republican - Iowa) 06/25/15
"The judicial court nominees are on the agenda for the first time today and will be held over. They are: • Luis Restrepo: Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit; • Travis McDonough: District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee; • Waverly Crenshaw: District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee"

NJ.com quotes Sens. Menendez & Booker on Senate delays of judicial nominees
(Democrat - New Jersey) 06/24/15
"It's pretty outrageous," Menendez said. "That affects every day people in terms of getting their in court. That's unacceptable." All four New Jersey vacancies are considered what the Judicial Conference of the United States, which makes policy for federal courts, calls "judicial emergencies," meaning there are not enough judges on the bench to handle current workloads. Among those waiting for Senate action are Bergen County counsel Julien Xavier Neals, nominated in February; and former Assistant state Attorney General John Michael Vazquez, nominated in March. Earlier this month, Obama picked state Superior Court Judge Brian Martinotti for the third vacancy. "They're eminently qualified," Menendez said. "Republicans are slow-walking all of these nominees and obstructing the ability of justice to be administered."