07.22.08

Senate Confirms Two Judicial Nominations

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the Senate Democratic majority’s work in confirming judicial appointments Tuesday night, as the Senate reached a milestone with the confirmation of two nominees for lifetime appointments to the federal bench.  In just three and a half years, Democrats have now matched the total number of President Bush’s judicial appointments confirmed by Republicans in the more than four years in which they held the majority.

With Tuesday’s confirmation of Cathy Seibel for the Southern District of New York and Glenn Suddaby for the Northern District of New York, the Senate has now confirmed 58 judicial nominees in the 110th Congress, and 316 total Bush nominees.  Democrats have worked quickly to confirm the President’s nominees, and vacancies are at the lowest level in more than a decade.  Vacancies nationwide are less than half what they were at the start of the Bush administration, and circuit court vacancies have been reduced by more than two-thirds, from 32 to just 10.  Circuit vacancies have been reduced in nine of the 13 federal circuits.

“The federal judiciary is the one arm of our government that should never be political or politicized, regardless of who sits in the White House,” said Leahy.  “I have always said that we would treat this President’s nominees more fairly than Republicans treated President Clinton’s. And we have.  We have matched the confirmation record that Republicans achieved for a President from their own party.”

Judicial vacancies have fallen from 9.9 percent at the start of the Bush administration to less than 4.5 percent today.  The Administrative Office of the Courts listed 60 vacancies on July 23, 2000, including 20 circuit vacancies, while today there are just 39 judicial vacancies, and only 10 circuit vacancies. 

For more information on judicial nominations, click here.

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