Alliance for Justice Decries Senate Failure to Vote on All Pending Judicial Nominees Before Adjournment
Unfinished Business Leaves Courts in Crisis and the Senate’s Reputation in Tatters
Press ContactKevin Fry firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C., December 23, 2010—Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement at the end of the 111th Congress, in which only 58 percent of President Obama’s circuit and district court nominees were approved by the Senate, a record low:
Alliance for Justice is extraordinarily disappointed that as the 111th Congress adjourns the Senate has abandoned its constitutional obligations and has failed to confirm 19 nominees for federal judgeships awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. Three circuit court and 16 district court nominees approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee were prevented from receiving votes due to continued obstruction by a Republican minority determined to thwart even the most noncontroversial individuals, including many supported by its own members. As a result of unprecedented Republican political gamesmanship, President Obama ends the first half of his first term with a smaller percentage of his nominees confirmed than any previous president.
We urge the President to re-nominate all those who were left unconfirmed, including superb nominees like Goodwin Liu and Edward Chen, and to redouble his efforts to appoint qualified nominees to the federal bench, where more than one out in ten judgeships is vacant. The appointment of judges is one of the most important and long-lasting legacies of any president, and should be one of President Obama’s most urgent goals. In the next session of Congress, confirming this administration’s judicial nominees should also be one of the highest priorities for the Democratic leadership in the Senate in order to ensure that endless abuse of Senate procedures is not repeated and that all vacancies in the federal judiciary are filled.
Alliance for Justice calls for an immediate end to the politics of delay and obstruction, and for the restoration of integrity and decency to a broken judicial nomination process that is doing great harm to our judicial system, the democratic process, and American justice.
Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations dedicated to advancing justice and democracy. For more than 30 years, AFJ has led the fight for a more equitable society on behalf of a broad constituency of environmental, consumer, civil and women's rights, children's, senior citizens' and other groups. Alliance for Justice is premised on the belief that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have our voices heard when government makes decisions that affect our lives.