AFJ today joined with over 50 other organizations in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calling for immediate action on President Obama’s stalled judicial nominations. With the clock running out on the 111th Congress, the groups demanded an end to the Republican tactic of blocking all nominees, even those with bipartisan support, and that votes are called on all of the two dozen pending nominees.
The letter reminded the leadership that, “The obstruction of many of President Obama’s nominees through filibuster threats and anonymous ‘holds’ is hindering the important work of our judicial branch, particularly in the many areas of our nation that now face judicial emergencies due to unfilled vacancies on the bench.”
As AFJ has pointed out before, the unprecedented tactics of delay and obstruction used by Republicans have wreaked havoc in the court system by preventing judges from taking their seats. The letter makes that case that “Due to arcane floor procedures that allow a single member to impede the important business of the Senate, our judicial branch has reached a state of crisis. Out of 872 federal judgeships, 106 are currently vacant, with 50 of those vacancies now characterized as “judicial emergencies” in which courts are being overwhelmed by filings that cannot be considered. As a result, a growing number of Americans, from all walks of life and across all economic strata, are finding it increasingly more difficult to assert their legal rights and to have their fair day in court.”
AFJ’s position is clear: Enough is enough. It’s time to vote.
To view the letter, go here: http://www.judgingtheenvironment.org/library/letters/End-backlog-groups-11-17-10-JUDICIAL-NOMINATIONS-letter.pdf.