Recommended Readings

10/23/2014 – Senate Democrats Gear Up For Major Nominations Push In Lame Duck
Their majority in jeopardy, Senate Democratic leaders are gearing up to confirm a swath of President Barack Obama's nominations in the lame duck session. read full story

10/20/2014 – This is the First Time Our Judicial Pool Has Been This Diverse
The men and women the President has nominated to enforce our laws and deliver justice represent his unprecedented commitment expanding the diversity of our nation's highest courts. That's a big deal — so if you learned something new here, pass it on. read full story

10/27/2014 – The Obama Brief
In July, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling that threatened the future of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. read full story

10/17/2014 – If Judge Mark Fuller does not Resign, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell Vows to Start Impeachment Proceedings
If Mark Fuller does not resign by Nov. 12, when Congress returns to Washington, U.S. Rep Terri Sewell will begin the impeachment process, according to an opinion piece her office released Thursday night. read full story

10/16/2014 – Fate Of Obama’s Judicial Nominees Unclear Under GOP-Controlled Senate
ne of the most unpredictable outcomes of a GOP takeover of the Senate, which is looking likely, is the fate of President Barack Obama's judicial nominees. read full story

10/16/2014 – Question Day: Would Republicans Block Court Picks?
In an e-mail, reader Andy Graves asks: Is it conceivable that a Republican Senate could simply refuse to confirm any Obama Supreme Court nomination? How would this likely play out? It certainly is conceivable. read full story

10/14/2014 – Senate Candidates Differ on Boggs Nomination
Democratic senatorial candidate Michelle Nunn says the stalled nomination of Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs to the federal bench in Atlanta is "problematic" and one that she has "serious reservations" about. read full story

10/09/2014 – The Senate is Unjustly Delaying D.C. Superior Court Nominations
There is no controversy over the nomination of William Nooter to be a judge on the D.C. Superior Court. His presentation before a Senate committee was so well-received that it took only 18 minutes for him to be unanimously approved. read full story

10/01/2014 – Senate Should Act on Embarrassing Backlog of Confirmation Nominees
The ink on Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s resignation letter was hardly dry before members of Congress started bickering about his replacement. Lobbing overwrought criticism at Mr. Holder’s record, Republicans demanded that the country’s next top law enforcement officer eschew ideology and remain independent of the White House — and they tried to rule out filling the job quickly, before the next Senate sits in 2015. read full story

09/28/2014 – Confirmation Battles are Back
Prepare for the return of the confirmation fight. If Republicans capture the Senate majority in November, their sway over prominent judgeships and Cabinet vacancies — potentially including a new attorney general — will become one of the GOP’s primary leverage points against President Barack Obama. read full story

09/25/2014 – Overdue Progress on U.S. Judges
Three nominations to the U.S. District Court in Texas' Southern District last week could further signal a welcome end to the state's judicial logjam. read full story

09/23/2014 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg Tells The World When She’ll Retire
Who do you think President Obama could appoint at this very day, given the boundaries that we have? If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court. read full story

09/23/2014 – Benchmarks: Obama vs. Bush vs. Clinton
For all of President Obama’s recent success in placing federal judges on the bench, he could still end up leaving a smaller imprint on the judiciary than either President Bill Clinton or President George W. Bush. read full story

09/23/2014 – The Unlucky Nominees the Senate Left Behind Include Wannabe Ambassadors and Judges
The Senate’s departure last week left scores of nominees awaiting votes in the various committees or on the Senate floor. Hopes for confirmation are dwindling down to a brief lame duck session scheduled in November — and maybe another one in December. read full story

09/23/2014 – Why Senate Control Matters
The Democrats need to find a way to succeed in two red states this year. If they can do that — preventing Republican victories in some combination of Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana or North Carolina — Democrats can pull off a modest upset and keep control of the Senate this year. read full story

09/22/2014 – If a Federal Judge Has Committed Domestic Violence, Congress Should Impeach Him
The Constitution says that federal judges “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour” — for life, that is, unless they commit an impeachable offense. Which brings us to the allegations of domestic violence against Mark E. Fuller, a U.S. District Court judge in Montgomery, Ala. read full story

09/22/2014 – Mike Boggs’ Record Catches Up to Him
This is a good day for Americans who care about our federal courts. According to press reports, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has said that Georgia federal district court nominee Mike Boggs lacks majority support on the committee and that he should withdraw. The New York Times calls the nomination "dead." read full story

09/22/2014 – Obama Not Bailing on a Judicial Nominee
As First Draft reported this morning, Michael Boggs’s prospects of being confirmed to the federal bench in Georgia are not looking good. read full story

09/22/2014 – Democrats Sink Controversial Obama Nominee Michael Boggs
Progressives appear to have won their fight to sink President Barack Obama's controversial judicial nominee Michael Boggs. read full story

09/19/2014 – Speculating About Obama’s Judicial Confirmations in the Next Congress
What will happen to President Obama’s current and future judicial nominees if Republicans take over the Senate? Indeed, what will happen even if they don’t? read full story

09/17/2014 – Senators Shelby, Sessions Want Mark Fuller to Resign
Alabama's two U.S. senators on Wednesday called for U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller to step down from the bench, joining a growing chorus of federal lawmakers seeking the judge's resignation after his arrest on domestic violence charges last month. read full story

09/17/2014 – Senate’s Unfinished Business: Fill Judicial Vacancies
The Senate has one week until it adjourns for its pre-election recess. While several bills are making their way through the upper house, the arena in which it can have the most impact is in confirming President Obama’s judicial nominees. So far this year, the upper house has filled 68 vacancies on the Federal bench, more than in all of 2013. read full story

09/16/2014 – Another Aspect of a Presidential Legacy: The Courts
Legislatively, President Obama’s ability to shape his legacy has probably run its course. Oddly enough, the scope and significance of his legislative achievements in his first two years – economy, health care, Wall Street, education, civil rights – were greater than most modern presidents have been able to achieve in their entire tenures, but Obama’s list will have no new additions. read full story

09/15/2014 – This Is What’s Truly At Stake In The Battle For Senate Control
Arguably the most significant consequence of a Republican Senate takeover in 2014 is absent from the campaign trail, and hardly registers in any polls asking Americans what their top election issues are. read full story

09/13/2014 – Building Legacy, Obama Reshapes Appellate Bench
Democrats have reversed the partisan imbalance on the federal appeals courts that long favored conservatives, a little-noticed shift with far-reaching consequences for the law and President Obama’s legacy. read full story

09/13/2014 – It’s Taken 2 Decades for Congress to Do Right
Two weeks before the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., erupted in racial division, another Missouri story with racial undercurrents ended on a positive note. read full story

09/11/2014 – Judge Haik Assuming Senior Status in March
His impending retirement has been discussed in legal circles for the past couple of years, and on June 14 U.S. District Judge Richard Haik made it official, notifying President Barack Obama in writing that he would assume senior status March 6 — five days after he turns 65. read full story

09/11/2014 – Whitehouse Under Fire for Not Opposing Georgia Judicial Nominee
An abortion rights group Thursday criticized Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., for not opposing a controversial nominee to a federal district court in Georgia. read full story

09/10/2014 – Stalled Georgia Judicial Nominee Presents a Dilemma for Senate Democrats
The troubled judicial nomination of Michael P. Boggs is stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee as the days grow short for congressional action this year, and the panel is moving other nominations ahead of his. read full story

08/26/2014 – Ethics Watch and Courts Matter Colorado Pull Back the Curtain on Judicial Nominations
A new report released this week by Colorado Ethics Watch and the Courts Matter Colorado coalition seeks to shed light on the often non-public process of federal judicial nominations – where those names come from and how they are vetted. read full story

08/25/2014 – Catch of the Day: Redefining Obstruction
A catch to the terrific Twitter-based compiler of all things related to judicial nominations, @Mansfield2016, who has a new chart showing that even after the "nuclear option" reform in the Senate last fall, President Barack Obama's federal court nominees still wait longer for confirmation than their predecessors under previous presidents. read full story

08/25/2014 – Yes, Republicans Really Are Unprecedented in Their Obstructionism
When we talk about Republican obstruction of judicial nominees in the Senate, the usual way is to look at filibusters and cloture votes. But that can sometimes be misleading, since cloture votes can happen for a variety of reasons. read full story

08/22/2014 – How Going Nuclear Unclogged the Senate
The Senate barely does anything these days — except approve judges that could shape the law for a generation. Since Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) changed Senate rules in November to ease the approval of most of President Barack Obama’s nominees, Democrats have churned through confirmations of dozens of new judges — giving them lifetime appointments that will extend the administration’s influence for years to come. read full story

08/20/2014 – Judge: Diversity Helps Court Avoid ‘Echo Chamber’ Syndrome
In her first address to a LGBT organization, Chief Judge Diane Wood of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals discussed the importance of diversity on the bench and in the legal workplace. read full story

08/18/2014 – Bad Judicial Appointments Can be Harmful to Your Health
Last month, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that consumers accessing Obamacare through state-run health insurance exchanges should not be eligible for tax credits under the health-care law. This is an eye-opening reminder of the profound impact that the courts can have on our daily lives. read full story

08/14/2014 – The Court, Not Congress, Is Obama’s Biggest Obstacle
As President Obama maneuvers to advance his agenda around unrelenting opposition from House Republicans, he is accelerating a dynamic that could reshape the power balance between the White House, Congress, and the courts long after he's gone. read full story

08/13/2014 – Sincere, but Ideological: Judges Can Be Partisan, Even if Not Consciously Biased
It is honorable no doubt to defend federal judges against the charge that they are merely "partisan hacks." But there is no doubt that lawyers expect party ideology to affect those judges' rulings and that they are wise to do so. read full story

08/11/2014 – Obama Expects Supreme Court Vacancies, Says He Needs a Democratic Senate to Help Him Fill Them
President Obama said Tuesday that Democrats must win the Senate because he expects to nominate Supreme Court justices during the remainder of his term and needs them confirmed. read full story

08/11/2014 – Praise, Criticism for Federal Court Hopeful
Longtime legal colleagues as well as rivals for an appointment to the federal court say Travis McDonough, current chief of staff to the Chattanooga mayor, is qualified to fill the post. read full story

08/11/2014 – Obama Expects Supreme Court Vacancies
President Barack Obama suggested to supporters Monday that he's likely to have the chance to nominate new justices to the Supreme Court before he is set to leave office in 2017. read full story

08/04/2014 – It’s High-anxiety Time for Obama’s Nominees in the Senate
High anxiety is gripping scores of Obama administration nominees left dangling above the Senate floor as that distinguished body took off for a five-week recess. (That’s vacation for most of them and nonstop campaigning for a few facing tight races.) read full story

08/04/2014 – Nuclear Option Fallout: Obama Adding Judges Faster Than Bush, Clinton
President Barack Obama has already confirmed more circuit judges than his two predecessors did by the end of their sixth year in office, thanks in large part to Senate Democrats nuking the 60-vote threshold in November for most nominees. read full story

07/30/2014 – As Arcara Prepares to Scale Back, Washington Needs to do its Job
Let us start by offering our collective gratitude to U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara for his decades of service as he moves into senior status in January 2015. read full story

07/31/2014 – GOP Forces Cloture Petition on 100th Obama Judicial Nominee
Yesterday, in what has become standard operating procedure in the era of Republican obstruction, Senate Majority Leader Reid had to file a cloture petition to end the silent filibuster of a judicial nominee. read full story

07/24/2014 – Do You Work Too Much?
The American economy generally operates on the assumption that the more hours you work, the better an employee you are. But increasingly, researchers and workers themselves are saying that working to the point of burnout can be unhealthy, unproductive, and even dangerous — and some are advocating for large-scale solutions that tackle the problem at its source. read full story

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