Friday, August 13, 2010

Let's Talk Judicial Appointments!

We might as well, since President Obama and Senator McConnell did the same the other day:
President Obama and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had their first one-on-one meeting today, and it dealt primarily with one topic: Confirming judges.
Or, more precisely, Republican holds on Obama judicial nominees.

"Right now there are 12 federal judicial nominees that have passed the Judiciary Committee with a unanimous vote," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said before the meeting. "There are other judges that have been through the process and approved by the Judiciary Committee."

The meeting concerned "a direct discussion about moving those judges," Gibbs said.

The president is "rightly frustrated" at a pace that is "unrivaled and unmatched in its slowness," Gibbs said, and he added that some recess appointments may be in the offing.
Hmm, that's not good.

According to ACS' nifty website, there are now 100 vacancies out of 867 seats on the federal bench.

So that's roughly 10 percent of the judicial branch, with nominees cooling their heels for indefinite periods while they await an uncertain fate in the Senate.

My guess is this will have some deleterious institutional effects on the federal justice system, but what do I know?

This is SFL, hoping I'm wrong (again).


Anonymous said...

What an outrage! How about checking and seeing how many vacancies GWB had at the same point in time. Our system has the laziest and most pompous group of human beings around, the Senate, involved in teh process. What do you expect. No matter who is president, someone from the opposite party can slow the process to a standstill.

Anonymous said...

The Florida Bar should be replaced by a state agency which could similarly regulate the legal profession. Self-regulation in this era is b.s. What say you?

South Florida Lawyers said...

David just posted an article about that, but here you go:

Obama's judicial confirmation rate is the lowest since analysts began detailed tracking the subject 30 years ago, with 47% of his 85 nominations winning Senate approval so far. That compares with 87% confirmed during the first 18 months of the previous administration, 84% for President Clinton, 79% for President George H.W. Bush and 93% for President Reagan.