Recommended Readings

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

07/21/2014 – New Study: Judicial Vacancies Delay Cases and Create Unmanageable Workloads, Judges Say
Despite the recent uptick in judicial nominee confirmations over the last few months, judicial vacancies are causing significant case delays and creating unmanageable workloads for judges in district courts, according to a new Brennan Center for Justice study out today. read full story

07/18/2014 – At Long Last, Justice for Ronnie White
In Congress, as in life, circumstances seldom collide to allow correction of a glaring injustice. Yet that is what happened in the Senate on Wednesday, when the chamber confirmed Ronnie White for a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. read full story

07/18/2014 – All Americans Benefit From Senate Rules Reform
What do Richard Boulware, a federal judge in Nevada; Nina Pillard, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; and Melvin Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, have in common? read full story

07/16/2014 – With A Rules Change For A Lever, Senate Ends Judge’s 17-Year Wait
The Senate has voted 53 to 44 to confirm Ronnie White for a federal court judgeship in Missouri, 17 years after he was first nominated by President Bill Clinton. read full story

07/07/2014 – Harry Reid Threatens To Revisit ‘Nuclear Option’ On Filibuster Rules
In his first remarks after the July 4 holiday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Monday threatened to revisit the so-called nuclear option to make further changes to the filibuster rules. read full story

07/07/2014 – Reid: GOP Using ‘Emergency Break’ to Slow Senate
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accused Republicans of trying to slow Senate consideration of bipartisan legislation and President Obama’s nominees. read full story

07/04/2014 – No Judge, No Justice
Federal judges have long been pawns in political chess games. Regardless of political party, presidents and home-state senators are supposed to work closely to agree on qualified nominees for vacancies. In the current hyper-partisan gridlock of Washington, however, the nomination and confirmation process has virtually ground to a halt, leaving Texas with more unfilled seats on federal benches than any other state. read full story

07/02/2014 – Tribes Write President Asking for American Indian Woman on Supreme Court
A letter was sent to President Barack Obama this week in support of the appointment of the first Native American woman to the federal bench, and his historic visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. read full story

07/02/2014 – Texas Republicans Stall Court Nominations, Create Judicial Emergency
With so many issues before the court, judicial nominations should be a growing concern for every American. Yet in a level of unprecedented obstructionism, Republicans are playing politics with our system of justice. read full story

07/02/2014 – How Many Judicial Confirmations Are Due to the Filibuster Rules Change?
The July 4th congressional recess’s pause in 2014’s record pace of judicial confirmations is a good time to explore the reason for the upsurge. read full story

07/01/2014 – Elizabeth Warren Taps Corporate Attorney For Judicial Slot, Despite Calls For Professional Diversity
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made a strong case earlier this year for the need for more professional diversity on the federal bench. The judiciary is stacked with corporate attorneys, she has said, and it's time to make room for judges with backgrounds representing the public interest. read full story

06/30/2014 – Udall: Supreme Court Wrong To Put Corporate Interests Above Women’s Health
But this decision also reinforces why I'll keep fighting to ensure the Senate fills judicial vacancies with mainstream judges who share the values of New Mexico families -- not corporate interests. read full story

06/24/2014 – How the GOP Took Obstruction to a New Level: Blocking Nominations That Have Unanimous Support
In 2014, proud guardian of gridlock Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have taken their obstruction to a new level. read full story

06/18/2014 – How an Obama Nominee Can Still Stall Out in the Senate
It's been months since the Obama administration nominated Michael Boggs to serve on Georgia's U.S. District Court, and nearly a month since he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. And he still hasn't gotten a vote. read full story

06/17/2014 – Obama’s Most Enduring Gay Rights Achievement
On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed three more of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees to the federal bench, where they will have lifetime tenure as district court judges. read full story

06/17/2014 – Kirk, No; Durbin Yes on Confirming Yandle for Illinois Judgeship
he usually collaborative process between Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill. and Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill. fell apart on Tuesday, with Kirk voting against confirming attorney Staci Yandle to be a federal judge in the Southern District of Illinois. read full story

06/17/2014 – Obama Leaving His Mark On Judiciary As Senate Confirms Gay, Black Judges
The Senate made history on Tuesday with its vote to confirm Darrin Gayles to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. read full story

06/17/2014 – A Historic Day for Our Judiciary
This morning, the Senate confirmed three federal judges. On the one hand, they are not unique; like all of the President’s judges and judicial nominees, they have the necessary intellect, experience, integrity, and temperament. read full story

06/16/2014 – Judicial Vacancies in Texas Among Highest in US
The number of federal judicial vacancies in Texas is among the highest in the nation and the problem is compounded by budget cuts and a growing volume of felony cases that are being delayed, federal officials say. read full story

06/16/2014 – Filibuster Weakened, Senate OK’ing Judges Faster
Seven months after curbing filibusters, Democrats are aggressively pushing President Barack Obama's judicial nominees through the Senate, speeding the pace of confirmations and shrinking vacancies on the federal bench to their lowest level since days after Obama took office. read full story

06/15/2014 – Texas Federal Judges Sound Alarm Over Empty Judicial Posts
Texas judges cheered the U.S. Senate confirmation last month of Judge Gregg Costa for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest tier of judges below the Supreme Court. read full story

06/13/2014 – New SF Federal Judge Has His Own Take on Roberts’ ‘Balls and Strikes’
San Francisco’s newest federal judge was sworn into office Thursday and offered his own version of Chief Justice John Roberts’ comparison of jurists to umpires calling balls and strikes. read full story

06/12/2014 – Tempering Judicial Confirmation Optimism
For Democrats, judicial confirmation news has been getting better. One article—“Obama’s Shocking Success on Judgeships”—tells a rosier story than Obama’s early years of paltry nominations and confirmations, as does another recent article. read full story

06/11/2014 – Embattled Nominee Michael Boggs Held Up As Other Judicial Candidates Moving Forward
The Senate Judiciary Committee is moving forward with a batch of federal judicial candidates for Georgia this week, but one name will be noticeably absent: beleaguered nominee Michael Boggs. read full story

06/10/2014 – Toomey, Casey Should Act to Fill Judicial Vacancies
While Edward G. Smith was recently sworn in as the newest federal judge in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania ("Judge Edward Smith sworn onto federal bench in front of 1,000 in Easton," story, June 7) judicial vacancies still plague the commonwealth. read full story

06/09/2014 – Sen. Whitehouse Remains Mum on Boggs Nomination, Despite Key Role
The Senate Democratic leadership is united in opposition to appointing controversial anti-choice judge Michael Boggs to a federal district court in Georgia. read full story

06/05/2014 – Human Rights Groups Urge Senate Judiciary Committee To Reject Michael Boggs
Progressive groups are piling on opposition to Michael Boggs, President Barack Obama's nominee under attack for his socially conservative record on gay rights, civil rights and abortion. read full story

06/04/2014 – Al Franken Will Vote Against Michael Boggs In Senate Judiciary Committee
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said Wednesday that he will oppose President Barack Obama's beleaguered nominee Michael Boggs for a federal judgeship if he comes up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. read full story

06/04/2014 – As Senate Runs Out Of Judges To Confirm, Dozens Of Courts Still Sit Empty With No Nominees
For all the stagnation in Congress, there's a constant stream of action on one front: Judicial nominations. read full story

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