Glenn Sugameli, staff attorney for Judging the Environment, Defenders of Wildlife, updates me periodically on progress of federal judicial nominations. Today, he notes a news release from Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy, who complains that a list of consensus choices for federal judgeships are stacking up. In the past, consensus choices have been routinely approved. No longer. Leahy said more than a dozen with approval in committee have not come to a vote in the Senate.
They include Kris Baker of Little Rock, nominated by President Obama to an opening in the Eastern District of Arkansas.
“These highly qualified — consensus — nominees should be confirmed without further delay. They should have been confirmed last year,” said Leahy in a news release. “One hundred and thirty million Americans live in circuits or districts with a judicial vacancy that could be filled if Senate Republicans would consent to votes on these nominees. The delays are as damaging as they are inexplicable.”