Recommended Readings

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

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

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