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Thursday, November 5, 2009

“Justice Can’t Wait:” Report on Judicial Selection in the Obama Administration

A new report on judicial selection in the first ten months of the Obama administration was released this week by Alliance for Justice.

“While Republicans play politics to stir up their base, more than 97 federal judgeships remain open,” said Nan Aron, president, Alliance for Justice. “America needs strong voices on our federal courts, upholding the Constitution and the law to ensure equal justice for all, not partisan games that delay putting highly qualified nominees on the bench.”

The report is an assessment of progress toward equal justice for all at the start of the Obama administration. The report’s findings show that not enough progress has been made, with only five federal judges confirmed by the Senate, 22 nominees pending, and 97 vacancies on the federal bench.

According to the report:
Resorting to the same old playbook of partisan politics, Republicans are obstructing the judicial nomination process as a last-ditch effort to maintain their hold over the judiciary and halt a return to a balance of power. They are also using attacks on Obama’s nominees as an opportunity to keep their base engaged. Americans deserve better than simple party politics, and it is time for the White House and Senate leadership to move expeditiously to nominate and confirm judges.

The report points out:
President Obama has nominated highly qualified attorneys and judges to the federal bench – and yet Republicans have responded by either delaying the votes or outright attacking individual nominees. Every Republican in the Senate signed a letter on March 4, 2009 about six weeks after President Obama took office, effectively appropriating to themselves the nominating power of the executive branch by vowing to block nominees whom they did not approve. Since then, they have carried out that threat.

The full report is available on our web site.

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