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Friday, July 1, 2011

Senate Confirms Territorial Court Nominee, Fails to Vote on 17 Other Judicial Nominees

Last night the Senate confirmed, by unanimous consent, Wilma Antoinette Lewis to the District Court of the Virgin Islands for a term of ten years.

The Senate took no action on the 17 Article III (lifetime) judicial nominees who are awaiting confirmation on the Senate floor. Sixteen of these nominees were reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without opposition, so there is no substantive reason for delaying their confirmation. The sad fact is that for political reasons, Republican senators have objected to confirming them quickly, perpetuating the crisis in the federal courts.

There are currently 111 vacancies in our federal judiciary, 35 of which are designated as “judicial emergencies” by the Administrative office of the U.S. Courts. Eight of the unopposed judges awaiting final confirmation vote would fill judicial emergencies.

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