People For the American Way today praised President Obama’s renomination of 11 jurists named last year for seats on the federal judiciary.
“President Obama’s actions today are a reminder that the judicial confirmation process needs to continue regardless of which party controls the Senate,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President at People For the American Way. “Partisan wrangling shouldn’t stand in the way of a judicial system that works. Senator Grassley, as the new chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, should follow the example set by his colleague Senator Leahy and schedule timely hearings and votes on these nominees.”
During the last two years of President Bush’s term, Democratic leaders in the Senate confirmed 68 nominees and made sure the number of vacancies did not increase on their watch. At the end of that period, the vacancy rate was roughly equal to the point at which Democrats took control of the Senate, despite an unusually high number of vacancies occurring after Election Day 2008.
“President Obama has gone out of his way over the last six years to consult with Republican Senators to find consensus nominees acceptable to both parties,” said Baker. “Now it’s time for Republicans to show whether or not they’re willing to drop their campaign of obstruction and get on with the important business of staffing our federal courts.”