The Alliance for Justice has an important reminder to the Senate as they start gearing up for lame duck.
Unprecedented Republican tactics of procedural obstruction have left 23 Obama nominees languishing on the Senate floor, 17 of whom were reported out of the Judiciary Committee without Republican opposition. Meanwhile, while the Senate dithers, the Administrative Office of the Courts has declared “judicial emergencies” in 50 federal courts, affecting 30 states, meaning there aren’t enough judges to adequately serve the needs of justice....
Though these nominees have been awaiting votes for far too long, lame-duck sessions have frequently been an occasion when judicial nominees are approved. For instance, during the 2002 lame-duck session in a closely split Senate, President George W. Bush had 20 nominees confirmed, all but one on a voice vote, including controversial circuit court nominee Michael McConnell.
Right after the Senate recessed, President Obama sent a letter to the two Senate Leaders and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee blasting Republicans for their obstruction of these nominees. Given the outcome of the elections, the GOP might not be inclined to do anything Obama asks of them, but allowing at the very least those 17 nominees which passed out of Judiciary without opposition shouldn't be too painful. Justice is grinding to a halt throughout the country because of these judicial vacancies--"the average litigant waits more than nine months for a decision in federal court, and they can wait years for justice if the case is appealed or requires a full trial."