We are starting 2012 much as we ended 2011 — with a minority of U.S. Senators blocking confirmation votes on federal judicial nominees. Most recently, Senator Mike Lee of Utah announced his intention to block votes on all judicial and executive branch nominees. Even though a nominee to a Utah court — whom Senator Lee supports — is waiting for a vote, Senator Lee won’t back down.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve seen the same story play out over and over. Enough is enough: tell your Senators to vote on ALL judicial nominees.

There are 18 nominees ready for a Senate vote, eight of whom are women. If these eight women are confirmed, the gender diversity of two circuit courts and numerous district courts around the country would increase significantly. 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.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Tell your Senators that obstruction is not an option. Tell them you expect votes on ALL judicial nominees.

At a time where there are 85 unfilled vacancies in the federal judiciary, blocking votes on 18 judicial nominees who have received broad-based support and are ready to serve defies all understanding. While a minority of Senators prevent the Senate from voting on judicial nominations, the nominees are waiting for months, the courts aren’t running at full capacity, and justice for all Americans is delayed.

Don’t make Americans continue to wait for justicetell your Senators to urge their colleagues to vote on ALL judicial nominees.

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