Skip to main content

President Barack Obama delivers a statement announcing the nomination of three candidates for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 4, 2013. Nominees from left are: Robert Leon Wilkins,
Well, that didn't take long. Once the Senate had taken the vote to break the filibuster on presidential nominations, the nomination of Patricia Millett was brought back up, and finally advanced with a 55-43 vote so that she can get her final, up-or-down vote.

There are two more for the D.C. Circuit ready to go: Nina Pillard and Robert Wilkins have both been filibustered in the past few weeks, and their nominations are ready to bring back for the shiny, new simple-majority cloture vote. But there are oh-so-many more vacancies. In fact, there are 93 vacancies right now in federal courts and 51 of them have a nominee selected by President Obama right now, leaving 42 blanks that the President Obama needs to fill. Beyond that, an additional 18 have announced they are planning on vacating their seats in the near future.

There's also a very real crisis in the judiciary right now: 195 million people, 60 percent of the population, live in a state with at least one federal court vacancy. What this means is justice really, really delayed for 60 percent of the population. In some of these cases, it's because Senate Republicans are boycotting the "advice" part of their advice and consent constitutional job. They're refusing to work with Obama to identify candidates. But another huge part of it is that the administration has not made finding nominees a huge priority. There are good reasons for that, starting with inevitable Republican obstruction.

But there are better reasons for making this a top priority for Obama in his last three years, particularly next year. With the current House, and the continued existence of the legislative filibuster in the Senate, he's not going to see his legislative priorities advance. He might as well be focusing now on filling all these vacancies, now that they've got a guaranteed path to confirmation. Of course, that means the Senate also needs to get to work on the 51 nominations they've got before them. But now that they won't be wasting at least 30 hours with every nominee, they should have plenty of time to work through them.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 12:11 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site