The Leader Board

Even Democrats Admit That The Senate Has 'Been Speeding Up The Confirmation Of Judges'


SEN. REID: 'On Nominations… We Have Accomplished Quite A Bit'

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): "We have done a good job on nominations the last couple of months. Actually, in the last 3 months, we have accomplished quite a bit." (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.8769, 12/17/11)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): "We have been speeding up the confirmation of judges, just so you know. I was just doing the statistics for the Judicial Conference. We had 60 judges confirmed in the first 2 years of this administration, which would average about 30 each year, right? And so far this year we have already done 36, and since many of them come at the end of the year, I would say that we are going at a much faster pace this year, something that this Committee was very interested in having happen." (U.S. Senate, Judiciary Committee, Hearing, Minute 79, 9/20/11)


Three-Fourths Of Judicial Vacancies (61 Total) Are Waiting On Democrats To Act

44 judicial seats are still vacant because the President has not nominated anybody: "Total Vacancies: 83; Nominations Pending: 39." ("Article III Vacancies – As Of 3/12/2012," United States Courts, Accessed 3/12/12)

17 judicial seats are still vacant because Senate Democrats have not reported them out of committee. ("Executive Calendar," U.S. Senate, 3/12/12)

90% of U.S. Federal judicial seats are filled: "Current Vacancies … TOTAL: 83 (of 872) — 10%." ("Judicial Nominations," The U.S. Department Of Justice, Accessed 3/12/12)


'Mr. Obama Was Woefully Slow In Sending Up Nominations,' ABA Declares Many Of The President's Potential Nominees 'Not Qualified'

THE WASHINGTON POST: "Mr. Obama was woefully slow in sending up nominations early in his term, nominating only 34 in 2009." (Editorial, "Lawmakers' Destructive Gamesmanship With Judicial Nominees," The Washington Post, 8/16/11)

  • "There is plenty of blame to go around for the delays, starting with the President, who has been slow and often late in sending up names." (Editorial, "Nomination Roadblocks," The Washington Post, 11/21/10)

McCLATCHY: "…the President has been lethargic making nominations." "The White House, though, has contributed to the problem, according to experts and conservative critics, because the President has been lethargic making nominations." ("Obama Slow To Put Significant Stamp Throughout Judiciary," The Baltimore Sun, 1/18/11)


CLINTON OFFICIAL: Without Nominees 'You Do Not Have Standing To Complain'

"President Barack Obama's record on judicial nominees has been so unsuccessful he is making the tumultuous Clinton presidency look effective by comparison, a former Clinton official said today. Eleanor Acheson was an assistant attorney general under President Bill Clinton. For eight years, she led the U.S. Justice Department's policy office, which then as now helped to vet candidates for the federal judiciary and worked with nominees as they went through the Senate process. Eleanor Acheson: 'He's making us look good… All we got was criticism, criticism, criticism, for so many years.'" ("Obama Losing Judge Wars, Ex-Clinton Official Says," Legal Times, 2/28/11)

  • "She said that of all the things Democrats could do to speed up the process for judicial nominees, the easiest would be to bulk up the Obama administration's resources and focus on getting more names to the Senate. Obama, Acheson said, was slow to invest in the resources 'necessary to build the infrastructure for the judicial nomination process…. Your highest calling is to have a nominee for every vacancy… If you do not have that pressure, you do not have standing to complain a lot.'" ("Obama Losing Judge Wars, Ex-Clinton Official Says," Legal Times, 2/28/11)

"The American Bar Association has secretly declared a significant number of President Obama's potential judicial nominees 'not qualified,' slowing White House efforts to fill vacant judgeships -- and nearly all of the prospects given poor ratings were women or members of a minority group, according to interviews. The White House has chosen not to nominate any person the bar association deemed unqualified, so their identities and negative ratings have not been made public. But the association's judicial vetting committee has opposed 14 of the roughly 185 potential nominees the administration asked it to evaluate, according to a person familiar with the matter." ("Ratings Shrink President's List For Judgeships," The New York Times, 11/22/11)