People For the American Way

Longer and Longer Waits for District Court Nominees

What happens when the Senate is blocked from confirming more than two district court nominees per week, regardless of how many pending nominations there are? That's what's generally happening in the 113th Congress, since GOP leader Mitch McConnell usually blocks the Majority Leader from scheduling more judicial confirmation votes than that.

That creates a clog, forcing district court nominees down the line to wait longer and longer after committee approval for confirmation votes as the year progresses.

  • District court nominees confirmed in March waited 18 days, then 25 days, then 37 days.
  • In April, they waited 60-63 days.
  • In May, they waited 70-74 days.
  • And in June, with one exception, they've waited 98-102 days.

And in all cases but one, these were unopposed nominees.

There is no reason to keep courtrooms empty for so long and make it harder for Americans to have their day in court. As the Judiciary Committee continues to send nominees to the Senate floor over the next weeks and months, they should not be forced to wait for confirmation due to a deliberately created backlog.


judges, judicial nominations, Lower Federal Courts, Obstruction, Obstructionism