Is the Senate Eschewing Its Constitutional Duty Concerning Confirmations to the Federal Bench?
Since Republicans took control of the Senate in January 2015, they have been confirming federal judges at the slowest pace in more than 60 years, since 1953. Jennifer Bendery, Congratulations, GOP. You’re Confirming Judges at the Slowest Rate in 60 Years, Huffington Post (Sept. 17, 2015, 2:08 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-judicial-nominations_55faced7e4b08820d9178a5c. As of October 9, 2015, President Obama’s seventh year in office, the 114th Congress had confirmed a grand total of seven federal judges since January. Confirmation Listing, U.S. Cts., http://www.uscourts.gov/judges-judgeships/judicial-vacancies/confirmation-listing (last visited Oct. 9, 2015). For comparison, senate Democrats, during President George W. Bush’s seventh year in office, had confirmed twenty-nine of the President’s judicial nominees by this point in his presidency. Bendery, supra. These startling statistics should be concerning to the legal community because studies show they may impact the ability of the federal court system to dispense justice consistently and in a quality manner. Alicia Bannon, Brennan Center for Justice Analysis: The Impact of Judicial Vacancies on Federal Trial Courts, Brennan Ctr. for Just. (July 21, 2014), https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/impact-judicial-vacancies-federal-trial-courts. (more…)