Recommended Readings

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

01/28/2015 – Chuck Grassley’s Gavel Year
It’s the morning after the State of the Union address and Sen. Chuck Grassley is seated in his Capitol Hill office, chatting with an aide about his newest social media venture. read full story

01/22/2015 – Utah Judicial Nominee Lauded in Hearing
The Senate Judiciary Committee moved closer Wednesday to advancing the nomination of Utah Supreme Court Justice Jill Parrish to serve as a federal judge. read full story

01/21/2015 – Texas Judicial Nominees Get a Hearing in Congress – Not Much More
A U.S. Senate panel led by Texas Republican John Cornyn held hearings Wednesday on three of President Obama’s judicial nominations for Texas, notwithstanding calls from the conservative right to hold back over the president’s executive actions on immigration. read full story

01/21/2015 – Fill Judicial Vacancies, Including the One in Tennessee
What if 5 percent of all the jobs in your workplace were left unfilled? Projects would still need to get done. Each worker would need to take up the slack for the missing employees until the posts were filled. read full story

01/13/2015 – Despite Senate Power Shift, Obama Seeks to Shape U.S. Judiciary
President Barack Obama plans to plow ahead with an effort to shape and diversify the U.S. judiciary, despite the ability of Republicans to block nominees now that they have a Senate majority, Obama's in-house lawyer said on Monday. read full story

01/06/2015 – A Push for Federal Court Diversity
The new year has brought a flurry of activity in portions of Minnesota’s political and legal community. One of Minnesota’s seven federal district court judgeships — ably occupied for the past 21 years by Chief Judge Michael J. Davis — will become vacant in August as he assumes senior judge status, he announced on Dec. 29. read full story

01/01/2015 – 2014 Yielded Bumper Crop Of Judicial Confirmations
Since he's taken office, President Obama has seen more than 300 federal judges confirmed, putting him ahead of the past two presidents at their six-year marks. read full story

12/19/2014 – How the Nuclear Option Changed the Judiciary
For Sen. Harry Reid, going “nuclear” set the groundwork for his last great act of the 113th Congress. read full story

12/19/2014 – Obama’s Judicial Legacy May Have Been Settled This Week
The 113th Congress may have passed the least number of bills in recorded history, but it did push through a heck of a lot of judges, helping secure a major part of President Obama’s judicial legacy. read full story

12/18/2014 – Democrats Employ Strategy to get the Most Bang for Obama Nominations
President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and other Democrats have made a concerted effort over the past two years to seat as many federal judges as possible, and this week they could declare victory, having confirmed the most judges in a single Congress since 1980. read full story

12/17/2014 – Did ‘Nuclear Option’ Boost Obama’s Judicial Appointments?
The Senate Democrats’ move last year to eliminate filibusters on most nominations — it now takes only a simple majority to confirm — has helped President Obama dramatically increase his impact on the federal judiciary for years to come. read full story

12/17/2014 – 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

12/17/2014 – Judicial Nominations: Accomplishments and the Work That Lies Ahead
Before the Senate adjourned last night, it confirmed 12 federal district court nominees, for a total of 307 lifetime-appointed federal judges confirmed during President Obama’s first six years. These confirmations include two Supreme Court Justices, 53 circuit court judges, 250 district court judges, and two Court of International Trade judges. read full story

12/17/2014 – The Senate Just Cemented Obama’s Judicial Legacy
If there's one thing from 2014 that will define President Barack Obama's legacy after he's left the White House, it's the number of lifetime judges he put on the federal bench. read full story

12/12/2014 – Senate Could Stay in Town
Asked if Republicans would quickly allow votes on a number of federal judicial nominees, Cornyn said: “Those remain to be resolved.” read full story

12/11/2014 – President’s Nominees Face Do-or-die Moment as Congress Sets to Adjourn
Anxiety is mounting among advocacy groups over the fates of dozens of executive and judicial branch nominees who remain in Senate limbo as the 113th Congress gets ready to close up shop. read full story

12/10/2014 – The Senate is a Gangster’s Paradise
When I read articles like today’s piece in The Hill with the headline “Senate Republicans feud over whether to keep nuke option,” I feel a quick burst of the cynicism hormone. read full story

12/09/2014 – Harry Reid Makes Push for Nominees
Senate Democrats plan to squeeze every last drop out of their majority, threatening to extend the lame duck to approve key nominees of President Obama before turning Senate control to Republicans in January. read full story

12/09/2014 – Harry Reid Working on a Confirmation Deal?
We’re hearing that outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), despite threats to keep the Senate in session next week, is working to wrap things up this week with a small number of priority confirmation votes. read full story

12/04/2014 – For Some, Harry’s List is Much More Important than Santa’s
You can almost hear the nail-biting as some 130 increasingly desperate Obama nominees await Senate action this week or next on their bids for top administration jobs. It’s as tense as seeing whether you’re “safe” on “American Idol.” read full story

12/02/2014 – By Fair Means Or Fowl: How The GOP’s Fight Against Lame Duck Confirmation Votes Bucks Tradition
Despite public calls for bipartisanship after their electoral gains, Congressional Republicans continue to use every means possible to block the Obama administration from governing. Beyond their legislative roadblocks, Republicans are obstructing routine approval of qualified and noncontroversial nominees and judges. read full story

12/01/2014 – Liberal Groups Want Longer Lame Duck to Confirm Nominees
A coalition of largely liberal organizations has written a letter asking the Senate to extend the lame duck to allow as many of President Barack Obama’s nominees to win confirmation before Republicans take control of the chamber. read full story

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

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