The headline, I suppose, is that the gauntlet for becoming a federal judge is so formidable that there are more federal court vacancies now than there were when President Obama took office. Why? The short answer is Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican obstructionism - GWC
Politics - James Fallows - American Dysfunction Watch: State of the Judiciary - The Atlantic:
"The Congressional Research Service is a non-partisan arm of the Congress whose purpose is to provide well-researched answers for questions raised by members of the Senate and House. This week it put out a report on another sign of increasing public dysfunction: the mounting number of vacant seats on the Federal judiciary, for both district courts and circuit-court appeals judges. They are vacant mainly because of the increasing difficulty of getting nominations approved by (you guessed it) ... the U.S. Senate.
Refreshingly, this is not strictly a partisan issue! Senate showdowns over judicial nominees have ramped up under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. This chart shows the percentage of nominees who were finally approved by "roll call" vote in the Senate. The significance here is that back in the Reagan and first George Bush administrations, virtually all nominations were approved by voice vote -- ie, in an uncontested, pro-forma way."
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