When challenged, Republicans point the finger at President Obama, saying that out of the 82 vacancies, 61 don't even have a nominee. How, they say, can we be responsible for this crisis when the president won't even make the nominations. Well, it turns out, Republicans are even blocking that process: They're refusing to allow the simple process of nominations go forward.
Take Kansas, for example. The state is represented by Republican Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, neither of whom has put forward nominees for a district court slot there that has been vacant for 1,246 days. Their inaction hasn't gone unnoticed -- both senators have taken heat for not participating in the nomination process.Out of the 61 vacancies without a nominee, 25 are in states with two Republican senators and another 14 are in states with one Democrat and one Republican. The Senate is constitutionally charged with providing both advice and consent on nominations. They're refusing to do either.
Or look at Texas, where Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have not moved to fill seven vacant judicial slots, two of which have been vacant for 1,733 and 1,034 days, respectively, without a nominee. At least one Texas paper ran a piece suggesting Cornyn and former Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison were holding off on making judicial recommendations because they were hopeful Mitt Romney would become president in 2012.
There are four vacant judicial slots in Arizona, one of which has been vacant for 1,132 days. Neither of the state's Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, have put forward a nominee for any those spots.