As some 100 vacancies, in the words of President Obama, "continue to plague our judiciary," ACS encourages those concerned about the ability of the federal courts to operate efficiently to visit JudicialNominations.org, a Web-based resource for staying on top of the judicial nominations process. You can now get updates from JudicialNominations.org via Facebook, by by clicking "Like" on our new Facebook page.
JudicialNominations.org brings together for the first time an array of information, including an interactive map that allows the user to select an individual district or circuit court and identify the number of vacancies in that area, how long those vacancies have existed, whether anyone has been nominated to the seats, and how long nominees have waited for confirmation. The website also provides links to congressional statements, videos, upcoming hearings and other events, and the latest nomination news.
During an address in the Rose garden last month, Obama urged leaders of both parties in Congress to "work with us to fill the vacancies that continue to plague our judiciary. Right now, we've got nominees who've been waiting up to eight months to be confirmed as judges. Most of these folks were voted out of committee unanimously, or nearly unanimously, by both Democrats and Republicans. Both Democrats and Republicans agreed that they were qualified to serve. Nevertheless, some in the minority have used parliamentary procedures time and again to deny them a vote in the full Senate."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called for greater Senate cooperation in confirming judicial nominees during the American Bar Association's annual meeting, saying, "With ABA encouragement, may the U.S. Senate someday return to the collegial, bipartisan spirit that Justice Breyer and I had the good fortune to experience."
And ACS Executive Director Caroline Fredrickson told NPR in a report on Senate obstruction of judicial nominations: "We're at a point of unprecedented partisanship and bitter feuding between the two parties over judicial nominees at a level that has never happened before. And the impact is that you have nominees who are languishing for months and some of them for over a year."
"If the Senate continues to move at this "glacial pace," a system that is "already overburdened" will come to a "grinding halt," Fredrickson wrote in a column for The Huffington Post earlier this month.
Visit JudicialNominations.org today and check back frequently to follow developments on judicial nominations and vacancies on the federal bench.