Signature needed: Republicans blocking President Obama's judicial nominees

CREDO action
Why is the Senate blocking judicial nominees?

Tell Senate Republicans:
"There are 66 vacancies in the federal courts, including 30 judicial emergencies. It's time to stop playing politics and do everything you can to get judges confirmed."

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Dear 5849376,

Confirm judges now

Our federal justice system is in crisis. The number of judicial vacancies in federal courts throughout the U.S. has risen to 66, and nearly half of those are now considered judicial emergencies.1

We depend on the federal courts to protect civil rights, women's rights, voting rights, and the environment. But right now the courts can't do their job because Senate Republicans are stalling, obstructing, and running down the clock until 2017, when they hope a Republican president will appoint more conservative judges.2

Filling vacancies while President Obama is in office is our best chance of getting judges who will stand up for progressive values on the federal bench.

Tell Republican senators to stop playing politics and get federal judges confirmed. Click here to sign the petition.

Here's how we ended up with so many judicial vacancies: Republican abuse of the filibuster blocked President Obama's nominees for the first years of his administration. When Democrats reformed the filibuster for judicial confirmations at the end of 2013, it was supposed to help break that pattern, allowing judicial nominees to get an up-or-down vote.

Even with that reform in place, Republicans in the Senate still found ways to slow down the confirmation process. In 2014, they blocked confirmation votes on 22 judicial nominations that they later voted unanimously to confirm, wasting days of legislative time. This year alone, the Senate has confirmed just six judges — the slowest pace in over 60 years.

Republicans have also found another way to keep judges off the bench — by failing to send nominations to the president. A Senate tradition says that the president takes his lead from home-state senators in making nominations to the federal bench. Almost all vacancies without nominees are in states with at least one Republican senator.

Now, Republicans are hoping that by refusing to even participate in the nominations process, they can delay any appointments till 2017, and then appoint a raft of conservative judges under a Republican president.3

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to prove that he can run a functional Senate, but it looks like obstructionism as usual. Republican senators are not recommending nominees to President Obama for vacancies in their states. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley, known for his obstructionism when he was in the minority, is slow-walking current nominees through his committee. And McConnell is not scheduling votes for nominees who do finally make it through Grassley's committee.

It's time for the Senate to nominate and confirm judges in a timely manner, not play politics with the justice system. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thanks for standing up for the integrity of our federal courts,

Heidi Hess, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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  1. "Judicial Emergencies," United States Courts, October 1, 2015.
  2. "Politics over Justice: Judicial Selection in the 114th Congress," Alliance for Justice, September 17, 2015.
  3. ibid.

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