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Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

President Must Be “Pragmatic” to Fill Vacanices



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There are 17 vacancies on federal appellate courts, for which the President has only made five nominations. On two courts — the Fourth and Third — the number of vacancies actually threatens the ability to function efficiently As Howard Bashman notes in this column , the window for getting more Bush appellate nominees on the federal bench is rapidly closing. Bashman recommends the White House become more “pragmatic,” and should think about nominating less controversial nominees, even if it means passing over the very best candidates, as this would be better than not getting nominees through at all. Whether or not Bashman is correct on this point, he is certainly right that “the clock is ticking, and the White House should do what is necessary to nominate acceptable candidates soon, so that open federal appellate judgeships will not be left to the next president to address.”



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