This Week on

August 12, 2011

The press continues to take note of the alarming number of federal court vacancies, with nominees left unconfirmed at the beginning of Congress’s month-long August recess. Articles published by The New York Times, NPR, Politico, Roll Call, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog, and The New York Times Magazine, among others, highlight this vacancy crisis. In The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen points to the Senate’s failure to confirm judicial nominees as an “example of the gross negligence of the legislative branch.” Ari Melber from The Nation appeared on MSNBC’s “The Dylan Ratigen Show” to discuss judicial vacancies. The Washington Post’s Adam Serwer warns, “It’s not just that Obama has the lowest judicial confirmation rate of any president in the last forty years, or that many of the more than one hundred vacancies have been classified as judicial emergencies. It’s that of the judges Obama has confirmed, few of them are young, which means that they’ll need to be replaced sooner rather than later.”

Once back in session, however, freshmen Tea Party members plan to take obstruction of federal judicial nominees to new heights, according to The Daily Beast. “There are some more things we want to go after—we're not done,” said Rep. Jeff Landry (R-Louisiana), alluding to blocking President Obama’s judicial and federal-agency nominations, radically restructuring Medicare and other entitlement programs, and maybe even killing the gasoline tax.

The Latest from “In the News”

  • “A Closer Look At Confirmed Judges,” from The Atlantic
  • “Ron Johnson puts the kibosh on Louis Butler and another judicial nominee,” from The Cap Times
  • “Trio of Louisiana judicial nominees still stuck in Senate limbo,” from The Times-Picayune

The Latest from “Recommended Readings”

  • “Obama must get tougher on GOP obstructionism,” The Washington Post
  • “President Obama Increases Judicial Diversity, Faces Confirmation Delays,” from Ms. Magazine
  • “Ron Johnson represents Alabama better than Wisconsin,” from The Cap Times