Well, the good news is that the Senate Judiciary Committee is finally holding a judicial-nomination hearing tomorrow. But the bad news is it reportedly won’t include L. Felipe Restrepo’s nomination. More delay for the Third Circuit’s judicial emergency.
I’m told Congressional Quarterly (which is paywalled) has posted that the judiciary committee will hold a hearing tomorrow morning on two nominations, Stoll Fed. Cir. (for an opening that is not a judicial emergency) and Ketchmark WDMO (also not a judicial emergency, and nominated after Restrepo).
UPDATE: the Senate Judiciary Committee website has just been updated here confirming that the hearing tomorrow will be for Stoll and Ketchmark only, not Restrepo.
Recall that, as reported last week in Legal Intelligencer, committee chair Chuck Grassley’s spokesperson said she “couldn’t even estimate” when Restrepo will get a hearing.
Last week People for the American Way’s blog observed that the Republican-controlled committee is moving more slowly on Obama’s judicial nominees than the Democratic-controlled committee did on George W. Bush’s:
In Bush’s last two years, the Senate confirmed 68 circuit and district court nominees, slashing the number of vacancies from 56 at the start of 2007 to as low as 34 in the fall of 2008. Today’s Republican Senate has confirmed no nominees so far this year. In the meantime, the number of current vacancies has climbed from 39 at the beginning of the year to 47 today, and the number of judicial emergencies has jumped from 12 to 21.
PFAW’s blog last week also observed that the committee has held no judicial nomination hearings since January 21, and said, “Hearings for Judge Restrepo and other judicial nominees are long overdue.”
A few other resources of interest:
- Judging the Environment has this helpful page with information on Restrepo’s nomination.
- Alliance for Justice has posted this nominee background report on Restrepo, highlighting his key cases as a lawyer and as a judge.
- The ABA has collected here a wealth of data on judicial vacancies overall.
H/T Glenn Sugamelli, who since 2001 has headed Judging the Environment‘s judicial nominations project.