by Caroline Cox
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary conducted hearings for three judicial nominees on Wednesday, June 10. The Committee heard testimony from Luis Felipe Restrepo, nominated to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit, Travis Randall McDonough, nominated to be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., nominated to be a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The problem of judicial vacancies is clear from the federal appeals court vacancy on the Seventh Circuit that has remained vacant for over 2,000 days. At the Huffington Post, Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice, takes a look at why this this key judgeship has remained unfilled for so long and why action must be taken on this long-standing vacancy.
The problem of judicial vacancies in Wisconsin is particularly severe. The Editorial Board of The Des Moines Register recently called for Senator Chuck Grassley to take action and begin sending nominees out of committee at a faster rate.
Judge L. Felipe Restrepo’s long wait for confirmation hearings could mean that the Third Circuit will have two simultaneous vacancies. The blog for People for the American Way discusses how Senator Pat Toomey could help avoid this situation.
There are currently 59 vacancies, and 27 are now considered judicial emergencies. There are 17 pending nominees. For more information see judicialnominations.org.