This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on two judicial nominees, Judges Alberto Diaz and James A. Wynn, Jr. both nominated to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The committee decided to wait until Christmas Eve to vote on the nomination of Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

As of today, the Senate has confirmed 11 federal judges, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. By December 17, in the first years of both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations each had 27 federal judges confirmed.

We have previously pointed out the slow pace of judicial selection in the first year of the Obama administration. Not much has changed since then.

There is still time before the recess for the Senate to vote on the nominations that have cleared the Judiciary Committee. Yesterday, Senator Leahy (D-VT) called on his colleagues to vote on these nominees:

“I hope Senate Republicans will lift their objections, and allow us to proceed on the 27 nominations reported by the Judiciary Committee. Absent cooperation to confirm nominations, this Congress will be recorded in history as one of the least productive in the confirmation of judicial nominations. I hope the New Year will bring a renewed spirit of cooperation.”

The president must nominate and the Senate must confirm judges who will be strong voices for upholding the Constitution and the law to provide equal justice and protect personal freedoms for everyone in America.

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