Recommended Readings

11/17/2014 – President, Senate Must Begin Filling Federal Court Vacancies, Including 2 in WNY
One effect being talked about after Republicans swept to power in the Senate in midterm elections two weeks ago centers on the difficulty President Obama will now have in trying to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, especially with a nominee with a liberal record. read full story

11/13/2014 – Georgia Senator Defers To Obama On Fate Of Michael Boggs
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) says he would support renomination for Georgia's beleaguered judicial nominee Michael Boggs next year. But he's not exactly vowing to fight to make that happen. read full story

11/12/2014 – Senate GOP Now Has a Majority. It Shouldn’t Stand in the Way of Judicial Diversity
If Republicans want to be part of a “do something” Congress, they should make confirming the president’s judicial nominations—and diversifying the federal bench—a top priority. read full story

11/11/2014 – Patrick Leahy Averts Fight with Fellow Democrat
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy has decided to stay in his leadership post atop the Senate Judiciary Committee, averting a turf war with another senior Democrat as lawmakers adjust to the shift in power ahead of a new Congress. read full story

11/10/2014 – Republicans Can Prove Their Cooperative Spirit by Confirming Presidential Nominees
President Obama on Saturday nominated Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, to be the next attorney general. In so doing he set up an early test of whether Republicans are serious about governing in a spirit of cooperation. read full story

11/10/2014 – Obama Nominees Face Lame Duck Obstacles in Senate
So many nominees, so little time. President Barack Obama and his allies have a parade of people they'd like the Senate to confirm for judgeships, ambassadorial posts and other top jobs during the dwindling days that Democrats will run the chamber. read full story

11/10/2014 – Reid’s Dilemma: Side with Republicans or Obama?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has signaled he’s open to making a deal with Republicans to clear a finite list of President Barack Obama’s languishing nominees, but the idea sets up a potential conflict with fellow Democrats and the White House who want to ram through as many as possible now before they hand over their majority. read full story

11/05/2014 – Don’t Bring Back the Judicial Filibuster
In Tuesday’s elections, Republicans won control of the Senate and expanded their majority in the House. In the coming weeks and months, Republicans in Congress must focus on developing and pursuing a winning agenda over the next two years — an agenda that will help elect a Republican president in November 2016 and provide that president with a governing majority in Congress. read full story

11/05/2014 – Memorandum from Conservative Leaders Regarding the Judicial Filibuster
We the undersigned are strongly committed to the appointment of judges who put the law and the Constitution ahead of their own political and policy preferences. The integrity of the judicial confirmation process and the function of the Senate are essential for the appointment of such judges, which is why we strongly oppose efforts to revive the judicial filibuster. read full story

11/05/2014 – Lame Duck Opportunity and Obligation: Confirm Judges
During the upcoming lame duck session, the Senate has an opportunity to finish up a critically important task where they can act quickly by unanimous consent or voice votes: confirming two dozen judicial nominees. read full story

11/04/2014 – The Democrats Lost Big Tonight. Why Obama Should Double Down
Nominate a diverse set of progressives to fill every judicial vacancy at every level, and then make this a huge national throwdown fight when they are not approved. read full story

11/03/2014 – What GOP Control of the Senate Could Mean for Obama’s Judicial Legacy
If Republicans take the Senate in the midterm elections — as this model, and this one, and this one, and this one predict — President Obama won't simply lose whatever control he's had over his agenda in Congress. read full story

11/02/2014 – Obama’s Best Chance to Influence the Judiciary may be Passing
When 41-year-old gay rights lawyer Michelle Friedland was confirmed by the Senate in April to the federal bench in San Francisco, Democrats cheered that a liberal woman would become the youngest federal appeals court judge in the nation. read full story

10/30/2014 – The Prospect of a Republican Senate
In a rare fit of realism on Tuesday, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, admitted he would be unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act if Republicans win the Senate next week and he becomes majority leader. That would take 60 votes, he said, and no one thinks Republicans will get that many. read full story

10/30/2014 – GOP Senate Would Alter Judiciary Panel’s Agenda
Progressive priorities such as voting rights and campaign finance reform will likely be shelved by the next Congress if Republicans take control of the Senate and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., loses his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. read full story

10/30/2014 – Top Priority for Lame-duck Senate: Vote on Obama Nominations
State Department officials and Washington’s diplomatic community are pressing the Senate to address a backlog of ambassadorial nominations during Congress’ post-election lame-duck session. read full story

10/30/2014 – The Revenge Of Mitch McConnell: GOP Senate Will Halt Obama Nominations
If Republicans win control of the Senate next week, as many expect, they will gain a powerful weapon to reshape President Barack Obama's legacy in his final two years: the authority to block his nominations. read full story

10/28/2014 – Anti-Gay Marriage Group Attacks Kay Hagan For Supporting Judge Everyone Else Supported Too
The National Organization for Marriage launched a new ad Tuesday criticizing Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) for voting to confirm a federal judge who went on to strike down the state's ban on same-sex marriage this month. read full story

10/28/2014 – Senate’s Mutually Assured Obstruction
If Republicans win control of the Senate next week, they ought to prepare to defend themselves against a familiar threat: their own obstructionist tactics. That’s the trend in the almost evenly divided body: One side finds a secret weapon, then the other side perfects and redeploys it. 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

10/26/2014 – Chuck Schumer: Supreme Court Will Thwart Democrats For Decades If We Lose Midterms
If Republicans take control of the Senate in the November elections, the repercussions for the Supreme Court could thwart Democratic Party policy priorities for decades, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told NBC on Sunday. read full story

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

10/22/2014 – The Appointment Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: An Overview
In recent decades, the process for appointing judges to the U.S. circuit courts of appeals and the U.S. district courts has been of continuing Senate interest. The responsibility for making these appointments is shared by the President and the Senate. 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

10/17/2014 – 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

A project of the American Constitution Society

For information or questions contact:

Website designed by Top Shelf Design

Take Action