With one of the four seats on the U.S District Court in Delaware vacant since March 2009 and a second retirement pending, the judicial district has had no choice but to outsource its criminal caseload to other courts to comply with the Speedy Trial Act, ACS Executive Director Caroline Fredrickson told The American Prospect's Jamelle Bouie.
This is just the latest example of what Fredrickson called a "fundamental breakdown in the judicial confirmation process," Bouie writes in a column about the judicial vacancy crisis.
Since President Barack Obama took office last year, the number of judicial emergencies has more than doubled, and this has "disastrous consequences for the legal system," Bouie writes.
Bouie blames Senate Republicans for having turned the usual legislative deference to the president on its head and turning the judicial confirmation process into a "battleground," but he also blames President Obama for not nominating more judges.
"The consequences of an understaffed federal judiciary are hard to overstate," he writes. Bouie continues: