Judicial Nominations That Did Not Move Forward This Week
It’s been over 85 days since Judge Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court, and the Republican leaders of the Senate continue to refuse to hold a hearing. Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed again today that the Senate would not confirm Judge Garland this year. Although Senate Republicans have been steadfast in their indefensible opposition to this exceptional nominee, it is worth noting that 85 days after Justice Scalia was nominated, the Senate voted on and confirmed him to the Court.
And despite the confirmation of two Court of International Trade judges this week, Republicans in the Senate otherwise refused to take action to address the burgeoning vacancy crisis in the lower federal courts. Senator Elizabeth Warren took to the Senate floor to ask for unanimous consent to confirm a number of district court nominees, but was rebuffed by Republican Senate leaders.
The relentless blockade of judicial nominees to all levels of federal courts by Senate Republicans demonstrates a fundamental disrespect for the other co-equal branches of government. With about a ten percent vacancy rate on the federal bench, Senate leadership’s inaction on judicial nominations places the rights of all those who go to the courts for justice gravely at risk. Senate, we’ve said it before and seems like we’ll be saying it again: #DoYourJob.