The Bush Administration has been a bit slow to forward nominees for judicial vacancies of late, and the longer the administration delays, the more difficult it will become for the White House to see solid nominees confirmed. As reported in today’s Washington Pos t:
in the closing months of his administration, Bush faces what University of North Carolina law professor Michael J. Gerhardt calls the “double whammy” of a Senate controlled by Democrats on one hand, and senators of his own party determined to play a greater role in judicial selections on the other. In the background is a ticking clock.
Bush has named only five nominees for 13 vacant seats on the nation’s influential courts of appeals — there will be more vacancies this summer — and moved to fill only 21 of 37 district court openings. Lawmakers and activists on both sides of the aisle see the door to new nominees being slowly shut as the administration moves into lame-duck status.