by Max Brantley
With 105 federal judicial vacancies — almost half in districts deemed in emergencies because of caseload — Linda Greenhouse wonders if Chief Justice John Roberts will follow the example of a previous Republican chief, William Rehnquist, and urge the Senate to get moving on filling vacancies. The Republican minority controls the flow in the Senate with the filibuster rule. Roberts has been a reliable ideologue so far, so I'd expect he won't model himself after Rehnquist and urge action contrary to Republican interest. He'd prefer more movement when Republicans are in total control.
Three of the judicial vacancies are in Arkansas. But you can put some blame on the White House and Democratic senators here, too. In only one has there been a nominee.