The Senate recessed yesterday without voting to confirm 20 judicial nominees, virtually all of whom received overwhelming support from the Senate Judiciary Committee. As a result, our federal judiciary remains dangerously crippled: with 87 federal judgeships currently vacant, there are simply too few judges on the bench to effectively operate the American system of justice.
Marge Baker, executive vice president at People For the American Way, issued the following statement:
“The Senate left behind serious unfinished business, and the American people are being forced to contend with a severely handicapped justice system. The fact that Senate Republicans have blocked so many candidates, including 9 nominees for seats classified as ‘judicial emergencies,’ is shameful. By keeping one in ten seats vacant and grinding our courts to a halt, they have shown yet again that politics comes before serving the public. This problem has an easy fix: allow a vote. Instead, they went on vacation.
“Senate Republicans are taking a cue from their House colleagues: they are willing to wreak havoc to get what they want – be it sabotaging the judicial system or wrecking the economy – no matter the cost to the American people. For Americans trying to protect their rights in a court of law, justice delayed is justice denied. We can no longer tolerate a Senate that shirks its basic constitutional responsibilities in favor of scoring political points.”