Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Kara Farnandez Stoll to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Now-Judge Stoll, whose qualifications are unassailable, was confirmed unanimously by a vote of 95-0.
Judge Stoll’s confirmation is notable because of the excellence and diversity that she will bring to this important court. She will increase the number of women currently sitting on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to 5 out of 12 seats.
But unfortunately, it is also notable because it is the first confirmation of a federal appellate court judge by the Senate in 2015. The first confirmation of the year took until July — if anyone is keeping track —and they should, because this level of heel-dragging obstruction on obviously exemplary nominees threatens to erode the progress both on filling vacancies on the federal bench and on increasing the federal courts’ diversity that has taken years to achieve. Justice is ill-served by this level of obstruction.