Obama Struggles to Name Federal Judges and Get Them Confirmed
We’ve witnessed four years of a concerted effort by one party to cripple not only the executive branch but also the judicial by fighting every appointment no matter how small.
It’s not just obstructionism but a clear attack on two of our branches of government and an attack on our form of government and our constitution. It’s about time for any remaining moderate Republicans to realize that another four years of obstructionism will net us clogged courts, less efficient government, and a smaller GOP.
At this point it’s time for Senate Democrats to recognize that this cannot go on and for them to change the filibuster rules.
In September 2005, John G. Roberts Jr., a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, moved up a few blocks onto Capitol Hill to become chief justice of the United States. His seat on the appeals court has remained unfilled ever since.
The vacant seat symbolizes the problems that President Obama had in his first term in quickly nominating judges and winning even routine confirmations in the face of a determined Republican minority. He has had fewer judges confirmed than any first-term president in a quarter of a century, and he is the first chief executive unable to appoint anyone to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which decides challenges to federal regulations.
Firmly in Republican control thanks in part to three appointees of President George W. Bush, the D.C. Circuit recently struck down clean-air rules put forth by the Obama administration for coal-burning power plants. It also threw out a “shareholder democracy” rule that would have made it easier for investors to vote for independent directors of public corporations. Both rules were strongly opposed by business interests.