The U.S. Senate has only confirmed a handful of judges in 2012 — despite the fact that over ten percent of judicial seats are vacant and people around the country are waiting for justice. Why? Because Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to allow yes-or-no votes on judicial nominees. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently stated that he’s ready to take extraordinary steps to move nominees, if a deal isn’t reached soon.
We need to make the most of this opportunity: tell your Senators to vote on ALL judicial nominees in March.
Eighteen judicial nominees are currently waiting for a vote, twelve of whom were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2011. Most of these nominees are individuals who would add sorely needed diversity to the federal bench, including by gender diversity. These are highly qualified nominees with bipartisan support. The only thing standing between them and a yes-or-no vote is a minority of Senators determined to slow down the confirmation process.
If these nominees are confirmed, they would fill nearly one-fifth of judicial vacancies. In addition, the gender diversity of two circuit courts and numerous district courts around the country would increase. While President Obama’s nominees have been more diverse than any prior President’s, the Senate has to confirm them in order for people needing justice to actually benefit from a more diverse bench.
Don’t make Americans continue to wait for justice — tell your Senators to urge Senate leadership to schedule votes on ALL judicial nominees.
Thank you for continuing to work to advance the rights of women and girls, including their access to the courts.