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I’m so old, I remember when Republicans were ramming judicial nominations through the Senate, and Democrats were squealing like stuck pigs about it.
Then came Jeff Flake’s attempt to disrupt the process unless a bill were passed protecting Mueller, and then the congressional term ran out with Democrats refusing to carry over the nominations. That left 13 nominees for appeals courts and 60 nominees for District and other lower courts hung out to dry.
Refusal - Nominations - Deal - Trump - Dozens
The refusal to carry over nominations, in itself, was not a big deal, because Trump could quickly renominate the dozens of pending nominees, many of whom already had Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings and were awaiting a floor vote.
But things have gone quiet on judicial confirmations the last two weeks since the new congressional term started. As of January 17, there have been only 6 judicial nominations received by the Senate.
Vacancies - Writing - Vacancies
There are 145 federal judicial vacancies as of this writing (plus another 19 known future vacancies):
The slow pace of renominations is baffling. Politico reported on January 17:
GOP - Activists - Government - Shutdown - President
GOP activists are growing concerned that the government shutdown might be distracting President Donald Trump from what they consider his most important mission: packing federal courts with conservative judges.
Anxiety over the pace of judicial nominations reached new heights this week after the White House resubmitted for the Senate’s consideration a list of more than 100 people who were nominated but not confirmed for various offices in the previous Congress. The list did not include a single nominee for an appellate or district court judgeship; nearly everyone on it was initially selected for administration leadership posts….
People - Heads - Wonder - Person - White
“People are starting to scratch their heads and wonder, ‘When are we going to start up again?’” a person close to the White House told POLITICO of Trump’s judicial nominees.
The White House, which did not respond to a request...
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