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Monday, January 24, 2011

Senator Schumer Warns of “A Crisis in the Judiciary,” Describes a “Strong, Bipartisan Effort” to Get Judges Approved

In an important and informative interview with Politico, Senator Schumer described a “crisis in the judiciary,” and said that the Senate would make a “strong…bipartisan effort to get many more judges approved” in the current Congress.

The Senator said that even nominees who had “broad, broad support” and who had been passed “out of the judiciary committee unanimously” were being blocked in the last Congress, and that “there’s a general view that this holdup has gotten out of hand, that it doesn’t make sense to holdup noncontroversial judges.”

When asked to describe what had caused the holdup, Senator Schumer said that, “[t]he holdup has been that some of our friends on the other side of the aisle, not everybody, maybe not even a majority, say that they’re going to hold them up, and by the rules, the filibuster and other rules, they can take a week per judge. And the Senate, when you have 35-40 weeks a year and so much to do that’s not going to happen.”

Mentioning an effort to help solve the problem, he said that “Senators Leahy, Grassley, myself, and Alexander…can hopefully come together with a plan by which most all [of] the judges, the vast majority of whom are not controversial in any way, can be approved quickly, without filibuster. There are various proposals as to how to do it, or it could just be by comity, by agreement.”

The Alliance for Justice commends Senator Schumer for speaking out on this important issue, and for working to help solve the judicial vacancy crisis.

For the full video of the interview, see here.

For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on judicial nominations, visit the Alliance for Justice’s Judicial Selection Project website.

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