"New Standards for Obstruction" on Judicial Nominees

Seventeen long-standing nominees for federal court saw their appointments railroaded last Thursday, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a request to vote on the judges. Communities that have been seeking relief from the extraordinary caseload burden faced by many district courts will continue to wait for justice while the backlog continues to grow.

McConnell’s move harkens back to last June, when Senate Republicans shut down all appeals court confirmations. The latest action leaves 78 of the nation’s 865 judgeships vacant likely until at least January 2013 – putting further stress on our nation’s already backlogged court system.

As Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed out on the Senate floor last week, Republicans in the Senate “are setting new standards for obstruction. Not only in all the legislation, but in judges…President Obama’s district court nominees have been forced to wait 300 percent more than President Bush’s nominees. Three times more.”

Watch Reid’s full remarks below:

The Senate is clearly broken when a single senator can block a vote that would help ensure the efficient functioning of the American court system.

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