AFJ Disappointed by Senate's Return to Inadequate Confirmation Pace
Press ContactKevin Fry firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C., March 14, 2012—Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement regarding the deal reached by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow votes on 14 judicial nominees over the next two months:
We are disappointed by the United States Senate’s continued delay in carrying out its constitutional responsibility. With 102 vacancies in the federal courts, the Senate should make the staffing of the judiciary a priority. But as we saw yet again today, many in the Senate would rather turn a routine confirmation process into a political spectacle.
After an attempted filibuster of 17 district court nominees who enjoyed bipartisan support, the Senate is now stringing out votes on 14 nominees over the course of three months. Those nominees could have been confirmed today.
Equally disturbing is Minority Leader McConnell’s assertion that President Obama has seen more of his nominees confirmed than President Bush. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, after the first three years of his presidency, 168 of President Bush’s nominees had been confirmed. In comparison, only 122 of President Obama’s were. By the end of this year, the Senate will need to confirm 76 more nominees in order for President Obama to have seated as many new judges as President Bush did during his first term.
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NOTE: Up-to-the-minute statistics for judicial nominations 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 Pending Nominees, 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.