Beyond addressing his administration's efforts to revive the economy during the Great Recession, and the need to pass "comprehensive immigration reform," President Obama, speaking at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute event, touched upon the ongoing obstruction in the Senate of his judicial nominations.
The president, in the context of immigration reform and other issues, noted that "we must break the Republican leadership's blockade." He continued, "Their leadership has made reaching 60 votes the norm for nearly everything the Senate has to do. The American people's business is on hold, because, simply put, the other party's platform has been ‘no.'"
"For example," he said, "consider the public servants I've nominated to carry out the peoples' business. Most of them have been supported widely and approved unanimously by senate committees. But they've been held up for months by the Republican leadership. We can't even get an up or down vote on their confirmation."
The president continued:
Right now there are 21 judges who've been held up for months, while their courts have sat empty. Three of them are outstanding Latinos, like Judge Albert Diaz, who I nominated to the Fourth circuit court. He's been waiting for ten months. This is a widely respected state court judge, military judge, and Marine Corps attorney. He was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee. But just last month, the Senate Republican leader objected to a vote on his confirmation yet again. And when he was asked why, he basically admitted it was simply partisan payback. Partisan payback. We can't afford that kind of game playing right now. We need serious leaders for serious times. That's the kind leadership this moment demands. That is what we need right now.
Watch video of Obama's remarks by clicking here or the picture. The president's comments about his judicial nominations start around the 14:08 mark. For more information on judicial nominations and vacancies visit the ACS web-based project JudicialNominations.org.