With the Senate controlled by a newly-elected Republican majority, 2015 turned out to be the single worst year for judicial confirmations in over half a century.
Instead of keeping their promise to follow “regular order” and “work to confirm consensus nominees,” Senate Republicans obstructed and delayed the confirmation process at every opportunity. Only 11 judges were confirmed, the fewest in a single year since 1960. Only one court of appeals judge was confirmed, the worst since none were confirmed in 1953. And as confirmations dwindled, vacancies shot up. In 2015, vacancies rose from 43 to 66 (they’ll hit 70 by January 1), and officially-designated “judicial emergencies” went up nearly 160% from 12 to 31. Read more