judicial nominations

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Obama Blasts GOP as It Blocks 3rd Top Court Pick

Calls obstruction 'completely unprecedented' as 3rd nominee in a month foiled

(Newser) - Senate Republicans blocked President Obama's third straight nominee to a key appellate court yesterday, continuing a fight that has stoked partisan tensions in the Senate. Robert Wilkins, a District Court judge in Washington who in 2010 was confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote, was nominated to fill... More »

Senate GOP Blocks Another Obama Appointment

Republicans derail pick for DC court of appeals

(Newser) - Senate Republicans blocked another of President Obama's picks for one of the nation's top courts today, the latest skirmish in a nominations battle that has intensified partisan tensions in the chamber. The vote derailed Obama's selection of Georgetown University law professor Cornelia Pillard to fill one of... More »

Reid May Go 'Nuclear' to Reform Filibuster

Senate leader considers changing rules for nominations in July

(Newser) - Those who think abuse of the filibuster has gotten out of hand in DC should keep an eye on three upcoming Obama nominations, reports Greg Sargent at the Washington Post . If Republicans use the tactic to block the president's picks to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the labor... More »

Obama's 2nd-Term Mission: Appoint Diverse Judges

GOP likely to delay the process

(Newser) - Of the 35 judicial nominees currently awaiting confirmation by the Senate, 17 are women; 15 are members of ethnic minorities; five are openly gay. Just six are straight white guys. After what the Washington Post refers to as the "sluggish pace" of President Obama's first-term appointments, the second-term... More »

Vacancies Leave Federal Courts in Crisis

Republican holds on judicial nominees taking a toll

(Newser) - Republicans’ refusal to allow votes on President Obama’s judicial nominees has pushed courts to the breaking point, particularly in southwestern courts struggling with drug and illegal immigration trials, the Washington Post reports. In Arizona, for example, some judges are handling about 1200 criminal cases simultaneously. The state recently declared... More »

Partisan Tiff Leaves Federal Courts Without Judges

GOP still blocking nominees, Obama slow to nominate

(Newser) - The partisan standoff on judges is starting threaten our ability to administer justice. Nearly 1 in 8 federal judgeships are currently vacant, the LA Times reports, as Senate Republicans block many of President Obama’s nominees. Just 47% of Obama’s nominees have been approved—the lowest rate in 30... More »

Obama Talks With Potential Court Picks

Informal discussions show process getting serious

(Newser) - President Obama has begun conversations with potential Supreme Court nominees, a senior administration official tells the AP, signaling an upswing in the president's consideration of an already coalescing list of candidates. This morning, he'll meet with Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, and the top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to... More »

Republicans Stonewall Obama's Judges

Procedural maneuvers help Senate GOP stall confirmation process

(Newser) - Despite the 95 yawning vacancies on the federal bench, Senate Republicans are blocking virtually all of President Obama’s nominees. Only three of Obama’s 22 nominees have been confirmed, as Republicans take the “partisan war over the courts into uncharted territory,” writes Doug Kendall for Slate. Both... More »

Obama Blasted for Letting GOP Hold Up Judges

Nominees locked in committee as vacancies build up

(Newser) - At this point in their first terms, Bill Clinton had had nine federal judges confirmed and George W Bush eight—but Barack Obama has got only three judges through, despite sending 23 names to the Democratic-controlled Senate. Part of the problem is Republican obstructionists who've threatened filibusters and used parliamentary... More »

Stevens' Exit Would Break Court Tradition

Tradition sees justices sticking with party that appointed them

(Newser) - Supreme Court justices have traditionally waited to retire until a member of the same party that nominated them held the presidency, writes Kate Klonick for True/Slant. The custom has prevailed even when the justice’s ideology drifted away from that party. But if the rumors about John Paul Stevens’ imminent... More »

Sotomayor Oath to Be Televised

Republicans feel they have dealt a blow to judicial empathy

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor will be sworn in to the Supreme Court on national television tomorrow morning, marking the first time the judicial oath administration has been broadcast, the Washington Post reports. The ceremony will take place at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, following the practice of Samuel Alito, who broke... More »

Voters Favor Sotomayor 2-1: Poll

55% approve of Obama's pick

(Newser) - Another poll has shown widespread support for Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination, Bloomberg reports. Of 3,000 voters polled by Quinnipiac University, 55% approved of President Obama's choice and 25% disapproved. But the Senate will ultimately decide, and Sotomayor is spending her third straight day meeting with lawmakers on the... More »

Attacking Nominees Demeans Court

(Newser) - The political attack ads popular in general elections have a profoundly negative effect on the public’s view of the Supreme Court when used during the nomination process, James L. Gibson writes fror Miller-McCune.com. “Politicized confirmation processes can indeed damage the institution of the US Supreme Court itself,... More »

What They'll Say to Fight Sotomayor

Critics call nominee racially insensitive, lacking intellect

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor’s opponents are already polishing their script, Politico reports. They’ll call her radical, racist, and stupid—albeit via softer buzzwords. She’s a “judicial activist” fond of “identity politics,” with a questionable “intellect.” Here are the charges against her:
  • She lacks “
... More »

GOP Takes Aim at Obama High Court Noms

(Newser) - Republican groups have already prepared dossiers and attack strategies on a host of possible Obama Supreme Court nominees, the New York Times reports. Ten memos obtained by the Times—all about female judges and scholars—focus on records of abortion rights, gay rights, and the citing of foreign laws. Weakened... More »

Obama May Look Off-Court to Fill Souter Vacancy

Expect a woman from outside appeals circuit

(Newser) - With everyone attempting to predict President Obama's thinking on a nominee to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court, CBS News makes two observations. The White House has dropped hints that it wants someone who is not a federal appeals court judge—as all nine current justices once were. And... More »

Moderate Is Obama's First Court Nominee

President to pick judge with bipartisan backing for Seventh Circuit

(Newser) - President Obama will make his first judicial appointment this week, choosing a moderate judge for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, sources tell the New York Times. The selection of David Hamilton, an Indiana judge with bipartisan support, is meant to signal the administration's effort to reduce the... More »

In 8 Years, Bush Revolutionized Appeals Courts

Below the high court, conservative judges for decades to come

(Newser) - George W. Bush's two appointments tilted the Supreme Court to the right—but it's at the appellate level where his judicial legacy is greatest. The president has appointed fully a third of all appeals court judges, and Republican appointees now control 10 of the 13 circuits. The result, writes the... More »

Next Prez Could Keep, Break Court's Balance

Candidates likely to follow different philosophies in replacing aging liberal judges

(Newser) - The next president will be able to either preserve the Supreme Court’s current ideological balance, or set it on a new conservative path, the Wall Street Journal reports. The youngest of the court’s liberals is 69, while the oldest of the conservatives is only 72. Hence, John McCain... More »

Supreme Court Spot Might Be Clinton's Real Dream Ticket

Hillary's talents, impact could be maximized as Obama's first justice

(Newser) - Forget making her a powerless vice president—Barack Obama should promise Hillary Clinton the first available Supreme Court slot, James Andrew Miller writes in the Washington Post. This, arguably, would give her supporters a better incentive to stay in the Democratic fold, because Justice Clinton could actually "play a... More »

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