Pundits will spend months discussing and dissecting the results of our most recent elections. Whether the root cause of the results is the country’s economic situation, the flood of outside money or something else, one thing is clear: Americans are angry at gridlock and partisanship in Washington. They don’t want political squabbles and they don’t want more talking points: they want a government that works.
And a well functioning judicial branch is central to having such a government.
The Senate left for recess last night without confirming a single one of the 23 pending federal judicial nominees. 21 of these nominees have been waiting over five months for Senate votes, some for nearly a year. Seventeen were approved by the Judiciary Committee without opposition. Eleven have been nominated to fill vacancies designated “judicial emergencies.”
Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way, issued the following statement:
Republican Senators are looking to show that they have any interest in responsible governance before November’s election, this is the last week for them to show it.
Currently, 23 of President Obama’s judicial nominees are waiting for a vote by the full Senate. Nineteen of those nominations have been pending for more than five months, some for nearly a year. Eleven of those nominations are to fill vacancies designated “judicial emergencies.”
To: Progressive Allies
From: Michael B. Keegan, President, People For the American Way
Re: Robert Gibbs, the "Professional Left", and the Opportunity We Can't Miss
Date: August 17, 2010
This afternoon, Sen. Patrick Leahy attempted to secure a floor vote on the nomination of Jane Branstetter Stranch of Tennessee to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the vote, claiming that the GOP needed more time to consider her nomination.
President Obama nominated Stranch on August 6, 2009, with the support of both her home state senators. The Judiciary Committee approved her nomination with bipartisan support in November. She has been waiting for a confirmation vote since.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell today blocked confirmation votes on two nominees to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judges James Wynn and Albert Diaz of North Carolina. North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan attempted to move the two nominations, both of which have received strong bipartisan support.
If confirmed, Diaz will be the first Latino to serve on the Fourth Circuit, and Wynn will be the fourth African American.
Following yesterday’s 72-24 confirmation of Chris Schroeder to head the Office of Legal Policy, Marge Baker, Executive Vice President at People For the American Way, issued the following statement:
“The overwhelming confirmation vote puts a spotlight on the ongoing efforts by Senate Republican leaders to block the Obama administration at every turn. More importantly, it shows that Senate Democrats can successfully overcome Republican delay tactics by insisting on votes and highlighting obstruction.