Bench Memos

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Nominees “Pending for Weeks and Even Months”!


Roll Call reports (subscription required for link) that Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, calling for “fair treatment” of President Obama’s judicial nominees, “is pushing for the Senate to confirm nine judicial nominees that have been pending for weeks and even months.”  In support of his contention that the delay is unwarranted, Leahy complains that Democrats “have had to waste weeks seeking time agreements in order to consider nominations that were then confirmed unanimously.”

Well, to understand what Senator Leahy has previously regarded as “fair treatment” of judicial nominees, let’s take a look at some of President Bush’s judicial nominees who were confirmed unanimously (or by voice vote) after much longer delays than mere weeks.  This list is only from the 110th Congress (2007-2008), with the number of days running from first nomination to confirmation.  (I’ve drawn my data from Tables 1 and 2 of a Congressional Research Service report titled “Nominations to Article III Lower Courts by President Bush During the 110th Congress,” dated May 6, 2009.  I list the judges in the order in which they appear in those tables.)

Courts of Appeals

Thomas M. Hardiman               183 days

Debra A. Livingston                  315 days

Raymond M. Kethledge            727 days

Jennifer W. Elrod                      189 days

Catharina Haynes                     268 days

John D. Tinder                         154 days

District Courts

John P. Bailey                           260 days

Valerie L. Baker                       273 days

Vanessa L. Bryant                    427 days

Nora B. Fischer                        216 days

Gregory K. Frizzell                   239 days

Philip S. Gutierrez                     281 days

Marcia M. Howard                  254 days

John A. Jarvey                          253 days

Frederick J. Kapala                  154 days

Sara E. Lioi                              238 days

Roslynn R. Mauskopf               428 days

Liam O’Grady                          341 days

Lawrence J. O’Neill                 183 days

William L. Osteen, Jr.               346 days

Halil S. Ozerden                       231 days

Martin K. Reidinger                  346 days

Thomas D. Schroeder               441 days

Benjamin H. Settle                    225 days

Joseph S. Van Bokkelen           170 days

Lisa G. Wood                          232 days

Otis D.Wright II                       191 days

George H. Wu                          203 days

Timothy D. DeGiusti                 169 days

Sharion Aycock                        199 days

James R. Hall                            388 days

Richard A. Jones                      199 days

Robert J. Jonker                       376 days

Paul L. Maloney                       376 days

Janis L. Sammartino                  175 days

Amul R. Thapar                        203 days

Joseph N. Laplante                   184 days

Stanley T. Anderson                 217 days

John A. Mendez                       217 days

Brian S. Miller                          177 days

Mark S. Davis                          208 days

David G. Kays                         208 days

Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr.          187 days

G. Murray Snow                      198 days

Glenn T. Suddaby                     224 days

(I address here (in the third-to-last paragraph) the contorted contention that the time from committee vote to confirmation is somehow more relevant than the time from nomination to confirmation.)

Tags: Whelan


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