Bench Memos

Look In The Mirror, Democrats

Senators Grassley and McConnell have been the targets lately of more attacks for supposedly “obstructionist” “delays, delays, and delays” of judicial nominations.  Here’s my favorite

Despite talk when they took charge of the Senate this year that they would move nominees at the same pace Democrats did when they controlled the Senate, Republicans haven’t done much of anything to fill vacancies on federal courts.

If by “haven’t done much of anything” you mean “actually beat the pace set by Senate Democrats” then, yeah, that’s about right. 

As Senator Grassley recently clarified, the Senate Judiciary Committee has held more hearings this year than it did in the final year of the Bush administration.  It has now held five hearings and considered 14 nominees, compared with four hearings held and a total of 13 nominees considered at this point when Senator Leahy and the Democrats were in charge. 

And the overall confirmation numbers tilt even more in the Democrats’ favor.  At this point in his term President Bush had 274 nominees confirmed.  President Obama has had 307. 

Bottom line: Democrats should stop whining.  Judges are moving along faster now than they did under Bush.

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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