Yesterday the Alliance for Justice issued this report, summarized here, criticizing Senate Republicans’ failure to fill federal judicial openings, including the Third Circuit judicial-emergency seat for which L. Felipe Restrepo has been nominated.
From the Alliance report:
Rather than working to ensure that our federal courts have enough judges to fairly administer justice, Republicans have adopted a slow-walk approach at each point of the nomination and confirmation process—from working to fill vacancies in their own states, to processing nominees through committee, to holding confirmation votes on the Senate floor. As a result, vacancy numbers are once again rising, and the number of “judicial emergencies”—vacancies on courts that right now lack enough judges to handle their caseloads—has nearly doubled.
The report notes that the Third Circuit seat has now been vacant over 630 days, longer than any circuit seat with a nomination pending before the Judiciary Committee.
The Alliance report also criticizes a Wall Street Journal editorial (available free here) from this past Sunday’s paper that said:
[A] fruitful area for resistance may be on Mr. Obama’s appellate-court nominees * * *. Simply refuse to confirm all of his appellate nominees until he stops abusing his power. * * *
The President and liberals would protest, but the public would barely notice. * * * In 2017 a Republican President would still have more judicial openings to fill.
Perhaps the standstill has only begun.