Recommended Readings

08/18/2015 – Confirming federal judges during the final two years of the Obama administration: Vacancies up, nominees down
The Senate began a month-long recess on August 7, having confirmed five judges in 2015 compared to 26 at this point in President Bush’s seventh year in office and 11 in President Clinton’s. Then, as now, the party that controlled the Senate hoped in 14 months to regain control of the White House and judicial nominations. read full story

06/08/2015 – Reid Rips McConnell Over Judges
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday slammed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for suggesting the Senate wouldn't approve a new circuit court or Supreme Court justice for President Obama. read full story

06/02/2015 – Appointment with history: First African-American to Preside Over State’s Oldest Federal Judgeship
Judge George Hanks Jr. stood in his new workplace — Galveston’s historic federal courtroom fashioned with grand wood panels and lights shaped as the scales of justice. read full story

05/22/2015 – Mitch McConnell’s One-Man Shutdown
Remember Mitch McConnell’s partial government shutdown? It’s continuing. And getting worse. read full story

05/21/2015 – Pennsylvania, Where Are the Judges?
t has been more than 620 days since Sean McLaughlin, the U.S. District Court judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania, officially resigned from the bench—leaving a key spot on this important court unfilled. read full story

05/19/2015 – Want to be Called ‘Your Honor?’ You May Have to Wait for That
Used to be that if you wanted to be a federal judge and were related to a senator (even by marriage) or at least endorsed by your home state senators, you’d stand a decent chance of putting on those black robes. read full story

05/14/2015 – Toomey Signs Off on Nominee for Federal Appeals Court
A Philadelphia jurist’s nomination for a federal appeals court is moving forward now that Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., has given his endorsement and the Senate Judiciary Committee has finished vetting Judge L. Felipe Restrepo, who serves on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania bench. read full story

05/13/2015 – Pat Toomey Insists He’s Not Holding Up A Judicial Nominee He’s Holding Up
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) insisted Wednesday that he's not blocking one of his own judicial nominees for political reasons -- even as he is still refusing to give the Senate Judiciary Committee the green light to give that nominee a hearing. read full story

05/13/2015 – Toomey’s Explanation for Restrepo Delay Raises More Questions
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey has been taking a lot of heat at home for collaborating with Chuck Grassley's scheme to delay Phil Restrepo's confirmation to the Third Circuit for as long as possible. read full story

05/13/2015 – I Am Not Delaying Judge L. Felipe Restrepo’s 3rd Circuit Nomination
As a senator, I have become accustomed to being criticized for things I have done. read full story

05/08/2015 – Pennsylvania’s Missing Judges
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a judicial nominee hearing — only the third this year, even though Congress has been in session since Jan. 6. read full story

05/06/2015 – Toomey Holding up Confirmation of Pennsylvania Jurist he Supports
Senate confirmation hearings are scheduled this afternoon for four federal district judge nominations , but one Pennsylvania jurist isn’t on the agenda even though he appears to have wide support. read full story

05/05/2015 – Pat Toomey Is Blocking His Own Judicial Nominee, For Some Reason
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is preventing one of his own judicial nominees from moving forward, for reasons nobody seems to understand. read full story

05/05/2015 – Judge Vacancies Cause Significant Delays
Sen. Chuck Grassley continues to delay federal judicial nominations. Since he became chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the senator has only scheduled three hearings on these vital posts, despite glaring judicial emergencies. read full story

05/05/2015 – New Congress, New Round in Senate Fight Over Obama’s Judges
In the long-running judicial wars between the Senate and the White House, the first skirmish of the year is flaring into the open this week. read full story

05/03/2015 – Here We Go Again With Senate Confirmation Delays
For the past 20 years, I’ve periodically lamented the sorry pace of judicial confirmations. read full story

05/03/2015 – Delays in Filling Two Federal Court Seats Shortchange the Legal Process in WNY
Buffalo is now without a single active federal district judge. That will worsen what is already one of the nation’s worst backlogs of civil cases. It is up to the president and Senate to act swiftly to fill the two federal judicial vacancies. read full story

05/01/2015 – Idaho Senators Say they are Interviewing ‘Men and Women’ for Judge Post
Idaho’s two U.S. senators insisted Thursday they are interviewing both “men and women” for a federal judicial appointment. read full story

04/29/2015 – Open Idaho’s Close U.S. Judge Nomination Process
A year ago, Stanley Bastian of Wenatchee was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a federal judgeship after an open, bipartisan nominating process. Contrast that with Idaho, where a secretive process to replace U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge is drawing fire for apparently ignoring female candidates. read full story

04/27/2015 – Idaho Senators’ Secret Selection Process for New Fed Judge Raises Questions, No Women Interviewed
It seems that women need not apply to the federal district court bench in Idaho. read full story

04/25/2015 – Buffalo Now Without Active Federal District Judges
On a day when most people reveled in the University at Buffalo’s first ever appearance in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, William M. Skretny’s friends and family did their own celebrating at the Robert H. Jackson Courthouse. read full story

04/23/2015 – Senate Democrats on Judicial Nominations
Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) held a news conference to urge Senate Republicans to begin confirming judicial nominees. read full story

04/22/2015 – Pick Up the Confirmation Pace
Senators don’t have to approve presidential nominations for Cabinet, court and other positions. But they should at least make those decisions in a timely manner. read full story

04/22/2015 – Judicial Cacancies in Alabama Pile Up
Negotiations on filling three judicial vacancies in Alabama have dragged on more than 18 months, even with a fourth vacancy coming in May. read full story

04/21/2015 – Mitch McConnell Exacts Revenge By Slowing Down Obama’s Nominations
When former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) triggered the "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibuster for most nominations in November 2013, the top Senate Republican issued a categorial threat. read full story

04/20/2015 – The Senate’s ‘Nuclear’ Fallout
After three months of no new judges on the federal bench, the full Senate got the trains going on judicial nominations last week, when it installed Alfred Bennett as district judge for the Southern District of Texas — the first judge confirmed under the new Republican majority this year. read full story

04/18/2015 – The Register’s Editorial: Chairman Grassley: Treat all states alike on judges
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley's announcement last week that he is recommending two Iowans for U.S. District Court vacancies in Des Moines and Sioux City is good news for Iowa. read full story

04/14/2015 – Working to Secure Iowa’s Judicial Legacy
This year, Chief Judge James E. Gritzner of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa and former Chief Judge Mark W. Bennett of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa take senior status and cap off a combined 37 years of extraordinary public service to our state. read full story

04/13/2015 – Republicans Finally Let One Of Obama’s Judicial Nominees Get A Vote
More than three months into the new Congress, Senate Republicans held their first vote on one of President Barack Obama's judicial nominees on Monday evening. read full story

04/10/2015 – Here’s A Look At The Most Ridiculously Long Judicial Vacancies The Senate Still Hasn’t Filled
The Senate will do something next week that it hasn't done all year: confirm a judicial nominee. read full story

04/06/2015 – Which Federal Trial Court Is ‘Most Productive?’
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the front office of the federal judiciary, has done the legwork to figure out which of the 94 federal trial courts cut through its caseload most efficiently in the fiscal year that ended in September 2014. read full story

04/06/2015 – Texas Faces Crisis of Judicial Vacancies
Texas' senators must act now to help fill a West Texas federal court seat, as convincingly detailed in your editorial, "Move quickly to fill federal judge vacancy," and story, "Federal judges in West Texas want Pecos vacancy to be filled quickly." The Pecos vacancy is the tip of the iceberg; Texas is ground zero for the federal judicial vacancy crisis. read full story

04/02/2015 – Fill Vacant Federal Bench Without Delay
If U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are serious about border security, they will act quickly to help find a nominee to fill the federal district court vacancy in West Texas. read full story

03/31/2015 – The Threat to Obama from the Courts
It may appear that the Republican Congress represents the greatest threat to President Obama’s agenda and legacy. But in the larger scheme of things, Congress is an annoyance. It’s the courts that are the threat. read full story

03/29/2015 – Federal Judges in West Texas Want Pecos Vacancy to be Filled Quickly
Federal judges in West Texas are pushing for a vacant federal judgeship in Pecos to be filled quickly, as they try to balance that court's caseload in addition to their own. read full story

03/27/2015 – PFAW Edit Memo: Senate Republicans’ Failure to Confirm Obama Nominees — By the Numbers
Three months into the 114th Congress, it's a good time to take stock of how the newly-Republican Senate is doing when it comes to processing circuit and district court judicial nominations. read full story

03/27/2014 – How Harry Reid Changed the Federal Courts
Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, who announced today that he will not run for reelection in 2016, leaves an imposing legacy—the transformation of the federal judiciary. read full story

03/24/2015 – Statement of James C. Duff, Director, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
Statement of James C. Duff, Director, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts Before the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the Committee on Appropriations of the United States Senate read full story

03/18/2015 – Down one Judge and Deserving Another
The federal courts in eastern North Carolina have been operating under a state of judicial emergency for years now, though you wouldn’t know it given the lack of a sense of urgency exhibited by the state’s United States senators. read full story

03/17/2015 – Now In Charge, Senate Republicans Slow To Move Forward With Obama’s Judicial Nominees
U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch has been waiting months for a confirmation vote. But she's not the only one twiddling her thumbs. read full story

03/13/2015 – Partial Justice: The Partisan Attack on Fair Courts in Wisconsin
The American ideal of “Equal Justice Under Law” depends on a justice system fully staffed with fair-minded and impartial jurists. For those who are politically unpopular, or who cannot match the political influence of big-spending special interest groups, an independent judiciary holds the promise of equal treatment—a branch of government, free from the influence of wealth and power, where decisions are made solely on the relevant law and facts. read full story

03/10/2015 – Why Only Two Judges for Hearings This Week?
Good news: For the first time since January, the Senate Judiciary Committee is allowing a hearing on judicial nominations. The bad news: Although seven nominees have been waiting since last November, Chairman Chuck Grassley is only allowing a hearing for two of them. read full story

03/09/2015 – U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During President Obama’s First Six Years (2009-2014): Comparative Analysis with Recent Presidents

02/06/2015 – Ambassador Nominee’s Ill-fated Path is a Senate Cautionary Tale
“I don’t want to be in a position of putting someone forward who doesn’t have a chance,” said Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who helps make judicial recommendations for California. “I will be choosing people I think can get through.” read full story

02/03/2015 – The Perfect Storm On The Horizon That May Kill The Supreme Court Filibuster
Divisions among Senate Republicans have burst a trial balloon floated in recent days by two top lieutenants of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to eliminate the 60-vote rule for confirming Supreme Court nominees. read full story

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