Alliance for Justice Calls on the Senate to End the Federal Judge Deficit and Pick Up the Pace on Nominations Before More Damage Is Done
Press ContactKevin Fry email@example.com
Washington, D.C., July 13, 2011—Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement as Republican Senators have resumed their tactics of obstructing President Obama’s nominees to seats on district and circuit courts of appeals, perpetuating the ongoing crisis in the federal courts:
While Congress is consumed with a fight over the federal budget deficit, the federal judge deficit continues to fester. Now, Republicans have brought the already sluggish judicial confirmation process to a complete halt, causing the federal courts system to pay the price for partisan warfare over the budget.
But even before the current impasse, Republican slow-down tactics were taking their toll. At the beginning of the year, there were 114 judgeships either vacant or soon to be vacant , and now there are 112, in spite of promises from Republicans to end their two-year campaign of obstruction and delay that left President Obama with the worst record of confirmations in American history. If present trends continue and judges are approved at a snail’s-pace average of one per week, we’ll end the year almost exactly where we began—with almost one in seven federal judgeships vacant.
In the current contentious environment, the American people are looking for constructive action from the Senate and one place to start would be a vastly accelerated pace of final votes for judicial nominees and an end to the partisan political posturing that has afflicted the process for far too long. The Senate should take a break from its rhetorical battles over the debt limit and allocate some time before its August recess to approve all nominees awaiting a final vote, none of whom face significant opposition. It’s time to end the deficit of judges before justice itself goes into default.
» Download AFJ Fact Sheet: "Federal Courts in Crisis: The Judicial Confirmation Rate Flatlines" (pdf)
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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.