judicial nominations

Swift Renominations Show Obama's Commitment to Judicial Nominations

As soon as the 103rd Congress began, Obama renominated every judicial nominee left unconfirmed and called for their timely confirmation.
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Senators Speak Out for Judicial Confirmations

Sens. Whitehouse, Cardin, and (Tom) Udall discuss how Republican obstruction of judicial nominations is damaging the nation's system of justice.
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How the NRA is Working with Senate Republicans to Block Judicial Nominees

The New York Times’ Linda Greenhouse has a great blog post up on the National Rifle Association’s little-known role in influencing Senate votes on federal judicial nominees. Greenhouse focuses on the NRA’s effort to scare Republican Senators away from voting for the Supreme Court nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – neither of whom had any actual Second Amendment record – and its successful effort to frustrate the DC Circuit nomination of Caitlin Halligan, who had once represented the state of New York in a gun control case.

These are the most prominent examples of the NRA’s efforts to keep qualified judicial nominees off the federal bench without reason. But there are plenty more examples out there. One of the most appalling is that of Elissa Cadish, who President Obama nominated to fill a district court seat in Nevada back in February. The NRA immediately got to work to stop Cadish’s nomination. Why? One month before the Supreme Court’s Heller decision – in which it overturned decades of case law to state that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to own firearms – Cadish correctly answered a questionnaire about the current state of Second Amendment law. At the time, Cadish correctly stated that the law that she would follow as a district court judge did not include the individual right to bear firearms. After Heller, she clarified that she would of course follow current law, which now did include this right.

This was a sign of proper judicial restraint – district court judges are in the business of applying the law as interpreted by higher courts – but to the NRA it was an excuse to bring down a judicial nominee. The gun group strong-armed Nevada Sen. Dean Heller into opposing the nomination and that was that. Heller refused to give his permission for the Senate Judiciary Committee to even hold a hearing on Cadish (permission is traditionally required from both home-state senators), and her nomination foundered.

The NRA didn’t get involved with these judicial nominations because it had substantive reasons to oppose the nominees. It got involved because it is, in effect, a codependent wing of the Republican party. Greenhouse points out that it was Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell who reached out to the NRA about opposing Sotomayor, rather than the other way around. Senate Republicans want to stop President Obama from filling seats on the federal courts. They then used the NRA as a useful bludgeon to keep in line senators who might consider being reasonable. The NRA and the Republican leadership get what they want from this relationship. The rest of us get a gridlocked Senate, a vacancy crisis in the federal courts and nation awash in firearms.

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Pending Judicial Nominations Pile Up

Republicans resist lame duck confirmations that have been made necessary by their own obstruction.
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More Dissembling from Chuck Grassley

Sen. Grassley again offers a blizzard of misleading statistics to hide his party's obstruction of President Obama's judicial nominees.
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Grassley's Non-Response on Judicial Nominations

Chuck Grassley issues a misleading response to complaints about his obstruction of resident Obama's judicial nominees.
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GOP Bad Faith on the Pace of Confirmations

Since a bipartisan agreement on judges ended in May, the rate of confirmations that Republicans have consented to has plummeted.
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Florida Federal Judge: We Need More Judges!

One of the district's vacancies could have been filled many months ago, if only Republicans would stop their blanket obstruction.
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President Obama Continues to Diversify the Federal Bench

Yesterday's slate of judicial nominations makes clear that President Obama's commitment to a diverse federal bench will continue into his second term.
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Lame Duck - Time to Confirm All the Pending Nominees

Don't believe the latest Republican spin to justify their obstruction of judicial nominations even during the lame duck session.
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Demise of Another GOP Talking Point on Judicial Nominations

The GOP claim that confirmation times for Obama's judicial nominees should be compared to Bush's second term falls apart.
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Judicial Obstruction in Graphic Form

Even for judicial nominees with no opposition, Republican opposition is setting records.
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More Court Vacancies, More GOP Obstruction

Republicans are blocking judicial nominees in Illinois and California, even though new vacancies in those states were announced just this morning.
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Sen. Confirmed 10 Judges One Day After Committee Vote in Sept 2008

In the last presidential election year, the Senate confirmed 10 judges in September, just a day after committee approval. Why not this year?
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Leahy Urges Confirmation Votes for Judges

Republicans should allow the Senate to vote on all of the 17 pending district court nominations.
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A Diversity Milestone for Federal Judges

President Obama had as many women judges confirmed as Bush did in 8 years, but Republicans are preventing votes that would further diversify our courts.
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