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View Diary: Unanimous Senate Confirmations Part of Deal (116 comments)

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  •  Add to that the fact that the courts need (26+ / 0-)

    more judgeships to be created in several courts, which Congress blithely ignores. By reasonable workload measures, there should be even more seats to fill than we've got. Plus a lot of the senior judges carrying much of the load are getting very old, and judges are resigning much more often than they used to.

    Thanks for the link -- I'll have to download to see how they define "uncontroversial" -- circuit judges have long been seen as heavy lifts, but district judges used to be pretty routine.

    The good news is that I think there's usually some dambreaking effect when a second term starts -- judges start pressuring their Senate buddies with more diplomatic versions of "enough with the partisan slow walk already -- we need help & can't hold out another four years."

    •  Let's hope. I noticed somewhere tonight an (7+ / 0-)

      appeals spot in the 9th Circuit has been open since 2004 with no nominee??????????

      Is that really true??????

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:33:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More judicial seats would mean (5+ / 0-)

      1. More money
      2. More chances for Democratic nominees

      Republicans won't have any of that.

      Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

      by bear83 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:44:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, the amount of money involved (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CoExistNow, SilentBrook, MichaelNY

        is rather minuscule. It's really the your second point.

      •  I understand the whys. However, in this matter, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bear83, SilentBrook, MichaelNY

        both sides really are at fault (which may be the first time I've ever used that phrase here). Almost nothing has been done on the district court front since 1990.

        The Conference has been asking for 79 judgeships -- 53 new permanent, 18 temporary, and 8 conversions of temp to permanent. Even a conservative (in the nonpolitical sense) assessment of the need -- say, figuring the contribution by senior judges is underweighted -- shows that both parties have been grossly understaffing these courts for a long time.  

        •  I totally agree that the need is there (3+ / 0-)

          and the cost compared to say, a fighter jet, is minimal.

          Republicans have managed to keep 92 judicial vacancies through the use of a wide variety of delays - withholding blue slips on nominees, refusing to allow hearings, refusing to allow committee votes, refusing to allow floor votes, and of course - filibusters.

          There's no reason they couldn't support the addition of new judgeships and then block getting them filled until someone acceptable is nominated. Heck, they've been doing that for 4 years.

          Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

          by bear83 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:54:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  and also (4+ / 0-)

        3. more judges with time on their hands looking for ways to legislate from the bench.

        We don't need no judges -- the laws speak for themselves, the sentencing rules are fixed, everyone charged with a crime is guilty (except me and my friends, we're being harassed by the tyranical dictatorship), and civil suits are just invented by trial lawyers and the ACLU to enrich lawyers. So starve the judiciary out and let the courthouses close down, let people settle their disputes down at the saloon, and we'll all be better off.

        Or something like that.

        (We used to go through this on a regular basis in NH, where I practiced law for many years.)

        •  Heh. You got it. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SilentBrook, bear83, MichaelNY

          The federal district courts used to get wide support from establishment corporate types because that's where they got their interests protected. My sense is -- and I imagine there's scholarship on it, but I haven't looked -- that the combination of (1) the rise of alternative dispute resolution procedures that allow them more secrecy, and (2) their growing ability to buy state court judges, has lessened their support for federal courts. Hence no pressure on Congress to fully fund and staff them. Just my .02.

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