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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Judicial vacancies higher than at beginning of the year

The judicial vacancy crisis is worsening, and Republican obstruction is returning.

There are more current and future vacancies today (115) than there were at the beginning of the year (114). That's more than 1 in 7 seats on the federal bench.

After a few months of incremental progress, the Senate’s confirmation rate has dropped precipitously, and new vacancies have outpaced confirmations.

Fortunately, the Senate Judiciary Committee has continued to efficiently process nominees, resulting in a huge batch of nominees awaiting confirmation votes. 26 nominees are awaiting final votes on the Senate floor, 24 of whom were reported out of committee either unopposed or with strong bipartisan support. 14 of these nominees would fill judicial emergencies.

The Senate should move quickly to confirm all of these nominees prior to the August recess.

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