President Obama has signaled yet again the priority his administration is placing on judicial nominations during the second term. In response to the Senate's modest rules reform adopted yesterday, the president released a statement noting the impact on America's courts:
I also want to thank leaders in Congress for changing the Senate rules in an effort to resurrect the longstanding tradition of considering consensus district court judicial nominations on a more routine basis. After being approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, my judicial nominees have waited more than three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my predecessor, even though the overwhelming majority of my nominees have been confirmed with little, if any, dissent. These months of unnecessary delay have threatened our judiciary. Today's reforms are a positive step towards a fairer and more efficient system of considering district court nominees, and I urge the Senate to treat all of my judicial nominees in the same spirit. (emphasis added)
The president is right to condemn the disrespectful way his judicial nominees have been treated across the board. They were met with unprecedented obstruction that has damaged our system of justice and made the Senate even more dysfunctional.
So we echo the president's charge to Senate Republicans to treat all of his judicial nominees with fairness and respect, giving each due consideration and allowing a timely confirmation vote. That certainly was not the case during the first term, which is one of the factors driving Democrats to demand rules reform in the first place.