White House Fights Back on Judicial Nominations

The White House, with an unprecedented number of blocked judicial appointments, has released a new blog post, which reveals that the Republican blocking maneuvers are costing the government $1.4 billion detaining prisoners awaiting trial alone. Moreover, the average wait time of a civil litigant’s jury trial is approximately 25 months and 15.9 percent of civil cases in 2010 experienced a wait of 3 years for a revolution.

Despite President Obama’s dedication to increasing the gender, racial and ethnographic diversity of those serving as federal judges, his judicial nominations have been blocked more than any other president. Republican Senators are either putting holds on appointments or threatening to or are filibustering. Only 97 of President Obama’s 155 judicial nominees have been confirmed. President Obama’s rate of judicial confirmations is only 62.6 percent, compared with George W. Bush’s rate of 86.8 percent and Bill Clinton’s rate of 84.2 percent.

Stephen Zack, president of the American Bar Association, stated that the failure of the Senate to confirm President Obama’s nominations “create[s] strains that will inevitably reduce the quality of our justice system and erode public confidence in the ability of the courts to vindicate constitutional rights or render fair and timely decisions.” The American Bar Association has determined that all of the President’s nominees are qualified for confirmation.

Twenty-one percent of President Obama’s nominees are African Americans and nearly 50 percent are women. By contrast, only 7 percent of President George W. Bush’s nominees were African American and 23 percent were women, and President Clinton’s nominees were 16 percent African American and 29 percent women. President Obama has doubled the number of Asian Americans working as federal judges. Under Obama, the first Latina, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, was sworn into the Supreme Court. Moreover, four of President Obama’s nominees are openly gay; nevertheless, only one has been confirmed.

See Infographic: Record Judicial Diversity, Record Judicial Delays

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