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Chief Justice Roberts Calls On Congress to Confirm Judicial Nominees

Chief Justice Roberts Calls On Congress to Confirm Judicial Nominees

You know Republican obstructionism has reached new heights when even Chief Justice John Roberts calls for an end to the blockade of federal judges.  In his annual report on the state of the federal judiciary Roberts called on Congress and the President to find a long-term solution to the “persistent problem” of unfilled federal judgeships.

While Roberts was careful not to point fingers specifically at Senate Republicans, its hard for the criticism to land anywhere else as more President Obama has the most unconfirmed judicial nominees of any president.

In his remarks Roberts said he was “heartened” by the flurry of confirmations that took place during the final days of the last Congressional session but underscored that those confirmations should not have had to wait until the last minute and as part of larger dealmaking for confirmation.  And while a total of 60 judges were confirmed, at least 19 nominees were left without a yes-or-no vote.

The ongoing partisan battle over the confirmation of federal judges has created a crisis that will not soon be remedied.  Cases languish on overcrowded dockets for years at a time.  Defendants face constitutional due process violations simply because of a lack of staffing to guarantee prompt initial appearances while some in custody wait years to find out if and when their case will go to trial.

And while the law and the judiciary cannot be separated entirely from the political process historically it has enjoyed a level of insulation that insured it could function in its essential role as guardian and gatekeeper for the other branches.  These unfilled vacancies, along with ongoing budget decimations has left our court system on life support and our citizens without a clear path to justice and it must be remedied immediately.

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photo courtesy of mrbill via Flickr

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20 comments

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2:09PM PST on Jan 8, 2011

Dear President Obama,

Do what Bush did: confirm them while Congress is in recess. Come on man, grow a pair will ya, for our sake.

2:01AM PST on Jan 5, 2011

It's about time!

7:43PM PST on Jan 4, 2011

Thank you for posting.

7:01PM PST on Jan 4, 2011

Well, Mr. Roberts finally did something positive.

5:52PM PST on Jan 4, 2011

GOP = party of NO
No progress
No compassion
No brains

2:48PM PST on Jan 4, 2011

Egads! Yet another reminder of how the retardlicans are sabotaging the USA.

11:45AM PST on Jan 4, 2011

Listen up obstructionists. Pretty bad when one of yours starts complaining.

9:44AM PST on Jan 4, 2011

So J. Roberts wants more Fed. judges so he and his court can overturn their decisions. Nice try JR. IMPEACHMENT

9:36AM PST on Jan 4, 2011

Evalyn Sherwood, get your head out of your ass!!!
Every time we think we have reached the bottom of the barrel in regards to senatorial and house behavior, some politicians find a way to dig even deeper. These conservatives have dug down so deep we need to fire a rocket just to get to the bottom again!!

8:25AM PST on Jan 4, 2011

I'm pretty sure the GOP has a long term plan in place to rewrite the constitution [ or perhaps have it ruled unconstitutional?] and drag us back into Victorian like times. To do this they need all their misogynist, elitist cronies in place in the judicial system.

I don't see their block ending till they get what they want or are forced to. Lets just go ahead and call them the obstructionist party.

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