Obstruction

Longer and Longer Waits for District Court Nominees

Because of a deliberately created backlog, district court nominees have waited longer and longer for a confirmation vote during the 113th Congress.
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1000-Day Judicial Vacancy in Georgia

Georgia's senators are keeping President Obama's 11th Circuit Court nominee from even having a committee hearing.
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McConnell Bobs and Weaves on Judicial Nominations

McConnell tries & fails to justify filibuster of DC Circuit nominee Srinivasan, and throws a GOP-supported 10th Circuit nominee under the bus in the process.
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The Wall St. Journal's Bizarre Attack on Potential DC Circuit Nominations

The Journal calls Obama a "king" for planning to make nominations to fill D.C. Circuit judgeships as Congress has mandated.
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GOP Obstruction of Judicial Nominees Continues

Republicans have yet to allow votes on all the judicial nominees who were left pending on the floor at the end of the previous Congress.
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The Filibuster ‘False Equivalence’

Journalist Andrew Cohen, writing for the Brennan Center for Justice, explains how attempts to portray today’s Republican filibusters as routine “tit-for-tat” maneuvers are misleading:

By trying not to be partisan, at least in this area of political coverage, we journalists are in many ways becoming more partisan than we fear. James Fallows, the author and longtime correspondent at The Atlantic, has been preaching for years now about “false equivalence” in reporting about the Senate’s current gridlock. He has called out reporters and editors, producers and television hosts, headline writers and analysts, for their continuing failure to call it like it really is when it comes to these Senate votes. For example, on Wednesday, in the wake of the background check vote, which “passed” the Senate by a vote of 54-46 but effectively “failed” because of the threat of a filibuster, Fallows again explained the concept. He wrote:

Since the Democrats regained majority control of the Senate six years ago, the Republicans under Mitch McConnell have applied filibuster threats (under a variety of names) at a frequency not seen before in American history. Filibusters used to be exceptional. Now they are used as blocking tactics for nearly any significant legislation or nomination. The goal of this strategy, which maximizes minority blocking power in a way not foreseen in the Constitution, has been to make the 60-vote requirement seem routine. As part of the "making it routine" strategy, the minority keeps repeating that it takes 60 votes to "pass" a bill — and this Orwellian language-redefinition comes one step closer to fulfillment each time the press presents 60 votes as the norm for passing a law.

News consumers, in other words, are led to believe that what is happening is just “politics as usual,” tit-for-tat, part of the murky vote-counting calculus that has always been a part of the Senate’s rules. But there is now ample evidence to suggest that this tactic has fundamentally changed the way Congress works. In 2009 alone, the Brennan Center’s Diana Kasdan told me last week, “there was double the number of filibusters that occurred in the entire 20-year period from 1950-1969, when they were used repeatedly and notoriously to block civil rights legislation.”  In other words, today’s abuse of the filibuster is extraordinary. Yet Fallows gives many examples — actual headlines, probably hundreds of them over the years — in which journalists have refused or failed to properly communicate this to their audience. Without adequate context and perspective about what is happening in the Senate, the American people are hampered in how quickly they can force their elected officials to change (or, more accurately, to change their elected officials).

In fact, as we have reported here, today’s GOP has taken Senate obstruction to an extraordinary new level.

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Courts Without Judges, Per the GOP Plan

The NY Times explains how Republican obstructionism is the main cause of the judicial vacancy crisis, which is undermining our system of justice.
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Using the Courts to Derail Reform

Powerful financial entities are turning to conservative judges to undermine the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
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Obama Talks to Senators About Broken Judicial Confirmation Process

Republicans ended their year-long blockade of an unopposed circuit court nominee after unjustly torpedoing another with a filibuster.
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Obama Condemns Filibuster of His DC Circuit Court Nominee

President Obama specifically cites the obstruction of the three remaining Republican members of the "Gang of 14."
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Five Reasons the Senate Should Confirm Caitlin Halligan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will ask the Senate to vote this week on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan, President Obama’s nominee to fill one of four vacancies on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Orrin Hatch Votes Present: Obstruction By Another Name

Orrin Hatch is exhibit A in the abuse of Senate rules to block President Obama’s nominees.
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White House Speaks Out for Judicial Nominees

After committee approval of several judicial nominees, including for the DC Circuit, the Obama Administration urges Senate action on judges.
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Obama Highlights Judges in Response to Filibuster Deal

The president again signals the priority he places on judicial nominations during his second term.
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Recess Appointments Ruling Shows Consequences of GOP Obstructionism

There would be no litigation on recess appointments but for Republicans' refusal to allow the Senate to vote on President Obama's nominees.
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Sen. Leahy Talks About Judges at Georgetown Law

The Judiciary Committee chairman condemns obstruction of qualified judicial nominees.
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