Judiciary Committee Reports Thirteen Nominations
The Senate Judiciary Committee reported 13 nominations today, including 10 nominations for lifetime appointments to the Federal bench. While Senate consideration of judicial nominations traditionally slows in the months leading up to a presidential election, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired two rare confirmation hearings for the nominees this month, and worked to expedite the Committee’s consideration of the nominations.
The Democratic-controlled Senate is now poised to confirm more Bush nominees in just over three and a half years than the Republican majority confirmed in four years. In addition to the judicial nominees, the Judiciary Committee Thursday reported the President’s nominee to be Solicitor General of the United States, a high-level position in the Department of Justice. Leahy held confirmation hearings for the nominees on September 9 and September 23. Also reported by the Committee Thursday was a nominee to be a U.S. Marshal, and a nominee to be a United States Attorney.
“The American people are also best served by a Federal judiciary they can trust to apply the law fairly regardless of who walks into the courtroom,” said Leahy. “The judiciary is the one arm of our government that should never be political or politicized, regardless of who sits in the White House. I will continue in the waning days of this Congress, and with a new President in the next Congress, to work with Senators from both sides of the aisle to ensure that the Federal judiciary remains independent.”
With the presidential election less than six weeks away, Thursday’s action continues the progress Senate Democrats have made under Leahy’s leadership to quickly confirm the President’s judicial and executive nominees. Vacancies on the federal judiciary nationwide are less than half what they were at the start of the Bush administration, and circuit court vacancies have been reduced by two-thirds.
Judicial vacancies have fallen from 9.9 percent at the start of the Bush administration to just five percent today. The Administrative Office of the Courts listed 64 vacancies on September 25, 2000, including 22 circuit vacancies. Today there are just 44 judicial vacancies, and only 11 circuit vacancies. Should the Senate confirm the nominations reported by the Judiciary Committee today, vacancies could fall under 40.
Nominations reported by the Judiciary Committee Thursday include: Clark Waddoups for the District of Utah, Michael Anello for the Southern District of California, Mary Stenson Scriven for the Middle District of Florida, Christine Arguello for the District of Colorado, Philip Brimmer for the District of Colorado, Anthony Trenga for the Eastern District of Virginia, C. Darnell Jones for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Mitchell Goldberg for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Joel Slomsky for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Eric Melgren for the District of Kansas, Gregory Garre to be Solicitor General of the United States, George Venables to be U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of California, and A. Brian Albritton to be U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.
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