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Concerns Over Delays To The Bench

 WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans prevented twenty-two of the twenty-six nominees pending on the Senate floor from receiving an up-or-down vote, despite the fact that the majority of those nominees have been waiting for several months and in two cases, a full year.  Just four nominees were confirmed before the Senate left for a five-week recess.  Republican senators also sent five nominees back to President Obama, necessitating their renomination and reapproval by the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Showcasing the purely political nature of this obstructionism, fourteen of the seventeen nominees waiting in limbo on the Senate floor were voted out of Committee by a unanimous vote.  Several of them are supported by Republican senators from their home states.  Yet they have still been delayed and obstructed for purely political purposes.

This obstruction has real world consequences.  President Obama has made great strides toward increasing the diversity of the federal bench.  Of the judges appointed by President Bush, 78% were men and 82% were white.  In contrast, seventeen of the twenty-two nominees prevented from receiving a floor vote (68%) are women or people of color. 

Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron remarked, "Diversity of background and experience brings a much needed richness to the bench and our society.  Republicans' outrageous delay tactics are preventing a diverse and well-qualified group of nominees from taking the bench."   

A snapshot of the nominees to the Circuit Courts of Appeals who are awaiting Senate floor votes and who would add important experience and diversity to the bench is below.


 


CIRCUIT COURT NOMINESS AWAITING A FLOOR VOTE

Goodwin Liu
Nominee to the Ninth Circuit 
Nominated: 2/24/2010
Reported out of Committee: 5/13/2010 
Days Since Nomination: 163
Biographical Tidbit: Would become the only active Asian American judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Robert Chatigny
Nominee to the Second Circuit
Nominated: 2/24/10
Reported out of Committee: 6/10/2010
Days Since Nomination: 163
Biographical Tidbit: Current Federal District Court Judge in the District of Connecticut.

Albert Diaz
Nominee to the Fourth Circuit
Nominated: 11/4/09
Reported out of Committee: 1/28/2010
Days Since Nomination: 275
Biographical Tidbit: Was the first Latino to serve on the North Carolina Superior Court.

Scott Matheson
Nominee to the Tenth Circuit
Nominated: 3/3/10
Reported out of Committee: 6/10/2010
Days Since Nomination: 156
Biographical Tidbit: Former U.S. Attorney and Dean of University of Utah.

Raymond Lohier
Nominee to the Second Circuit 
Nominated: 3/10/10
Reported out of Committee: 5/13/2010
Days Since Nomination: 149
Biographical Tidbit:  Has extensive experience handling civil rights and securities fraud cases for the government.

Mary Murgia
Nominee to the Ninth Circuit
Nominated: 3/25/10
Reported out of Committee: 8/5/2010
Days Since Nomination: 134
Biographical Tidbit:  Currently a district court judge, Murgia was the first Latina to serve as a federal judge in Arizona.

Jane Stranch
Nominee to the Sixth Circuit
Nominated: 8/6/09
Reported out of Committee: 11/19/2009
Days Since Nomination: 365
Biographical Tidbit:  Stranch has over thirty years of litigation experience, specializing in ERISA.


 

Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations dedicated to advancing justice and democracy. For more than 30 years has led the fight for a more equitable society on behalf of a broad constituency of environmental, consumer, civil and women's rights, children's, senior citizens' and other groups. Alliance for Justice is premised on the belief that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have our voices heard when government makes decisions that affect our lives.



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