AFJ Releases Data on the Judicial Nominations Process During the First Three Years of the Obama Administration
Press ContactKevin Fry firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C., January 26, 2012—In the wake of President Barack Obama’s demand in the State of the Union address “that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or down vote within 90 days,” Alliance for Justice today issued The State of the Judiciary: Judicial Nominations During the First Three Years of the Obama Presidency, a benchmark report detailing the reasons behind the current staffing crisis in the federal court system.
With over 100 vacancies currently plaguing the district and circuit courts, and almost one in nine judgeships without sitting judges, the report concludes that “Republican senators’ relentless, unprecedented obstruction of judicial nominees has created the almost unimaginable possibility that by the end of the president’s first term the overburdened federal courts may have more vacancies than when his presidency began.”
Drawing on an in-depth analysis of data on nominees, the confirmation process, and the federal courts, the report finds that:
Alliance for Justice notes that despite the obstructionist onslaught, time remains to make significant headway against the vacancy crisis this year. The president and like-minded senators can forcefully push back against Republicans’ tactics and force votes on unquestionably qualified nominees. They can show the country that government can work and that justice will not be denied because of empty seats on the federal bench.
NOTE: This report focuses on comparative statistics for the first three years of President Obama’s first term in office. Up-to-the-minute statistics for the current year are always available online on the Alliance for Justice’s Judicial Selection page, which contains the highly regarded Judicial Selection Snapshot, as well as data on Nominees Pending on the Senate Floor, a list of Vacancies Without Nominees, and our new Judicial Selection Calendar.
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Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. AFJ works to ensure that the federal judiciary advances core constitutional values, preserves human rights and unfettered access to the courts, and adheres to the even-handed administration of justice for all Americans. It is the leading expert on the legal framework for nonprofit advocacy efforts, providing definitive information, resources, and technical assistance that encourages organizations and their funding partners to fully exercise their right to be active participants in the democratic process. AFJ is based in Washington, D.C.