December 18, 2016


Trump set to reshape judiciary after GOP blockade : The Senate left town with 99 judicial vacancies, as well as the current Supreme Court opening. (BURGESS EVERETT 12/16/16, Politico)

The Senate left town last week with 99 judicial vacancies covering district and appeals courts, as well as the current Supreme Court opening. There are 52 Obama nominations to those courts pending, with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland the most prominent nominee still waiting for action.

Garland never even received a hearing as Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) gambled on a strategy to block any Supreme Court confirmation until the next president was sworn in. That gambit will now pay off handsomely for conservatives looking to reshape the judiciary. Most, if not all of Obama's nominations, will be wiped away next year by Trump and Senate Republicans.

There are also 38 judicial emergencies, according to the federal judiciary. Republicans had mulled confirming some judges if Hillary Clinton had won, GOP sources said before the election, but since Trump prevailed Republicans believed there was little reason to do any judicial confirmations in the lame duck. The Senate last voted on a judge on July 6, when Brian Martinotti was confirmed to a New Jersey district court.

The CRS data stretches back to 1987, and there is no modern equivalent to the slow-pace of judicial confirmations over the past two years. The second-fewest over that period was during the GOP-led Senate of 2005 and 2006, when just 51 of President George W. Bush's judicial picks were confirmed.

Posted by at December 18, 2016 10:38 AM