This Week on

August 5, 2011

In the final hours before the Senate left Washington for the August recess, the Senate confirmed four of the 24 judicial nominees ready for Senate review, and scheduled a vote for a fifth nominee upon their return in September. After the vote, American Constitution Society Executive Director Caroline Fredrickson lamented the Senate’s limited progress in getting judges confirmed, calling upon Senators to make “extraordinary efforts to expedite the pace of confirmations” with their return next month. In a statement, Senate Judicial Chairman Patrick Leahy said of this crisis, “It is not accurate to pretend that real progress is being made in these circumstances. Vacancies are being kept high, consensus nominees are being delayed and it is the American people and the Federal courts that are being made to suffer.”

President Obama made two new judicial nominations this week: U.S. District Court Judge Adalberto José Jordán was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and litigator Miranda Du was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. There are now 56 judicial nominees awaiting confirmation.

The judicial vacancy crisis received even more attention this week with an NPR segment on President Obama’s diverse judicial nominees, featuring Fredrickson. "Obama is nominating many more diverse nominees than his predecessors ... strikingly so," Fredrickson told NPR. "But the nominees are not getting confirmed with the same kind of success."

The Latest from “In the News”

  • “Obama nominates judge to Atlanta appeals court,” from the Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • “Judiciary chairman blasts Senate GOP for slowing judicial confirmations,” from The Hill
  • “Ramos Confirmed as Federal Judge; Judicial Dominos Could Result,” from South Texas Politics

The Latest from “Recommended Readings”

  • “Editorial: Partisanship to blame for long delay in judge's OK,” from the Denver Post
  • “It's Senate's duty to confirm judges,” from Politico
  • “Time to Stop GOP Obstruction of Judicial Nominees,” from People for the American Way

 Congressional Statements 

  • Sen. Reid on Nomination of Miranda Du to Nevada District Court
  • Sen. Leahy on Absence of Judicial Confirmations
  • Sen. Durbin on Confirmation of Judicial Nominee