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Good news on the quest to end judicial emergencies

There is no rational reason for nominations to have been stuck pending on the Senate floor for nearly 100 days.

Good news on the quest to end judicial emergencies and other judicial vacancies in Texas and across the nation. 

According to Think Progress, the U.S. Senate is about to focus in on filling these essential positions.

The U.S. Senate will turn its attention once again to judicial confirmations. With 84 federal judgeships currently vacant — about one in 10 — and the courts struggling to handle their caseloads, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has been pushing for votes on 19 people nominated by President Barack Obama and endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee — most with unanimous or near-unanimous bipartisan support. Unfortunately, only two of these completely uncontroversial nominees will receive votes tomorrow.

Our Republican U.S. Senators have nominees they have refused to push or aggressively support after being fully vetted and passed out of the Judiciary Committee. It's shocking because John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison have both been strongly opposed to stalling and obstructionist tactics in the nominating process. They have both advocated for clean up or down votes in the past and have been part of the "nuclear option" to force the issue when the stall tactics were used almost a decade ago.

John Cornyn (R-TX): “We have a Democratic leader defeated, in part, as I said, because I believe he was identified with this obstructionist practice, this unconstitutional use of the filibuster to deny the president his judicial nominations.

Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX): “[T]he Constitution envisions a 51-vote majority for judgeships…. [Filibustering judges] amend[s] the Constitution without going through the proper processes…. We have a majority rule that is the tradition of the Senate with judges. It is the constitutional requirement.”

Democrats and Progressives in Washington are gearing up to force the issue and fill these judicial vacancies that affect nearly 160 million people throughout the country.

Despite a vacancy crisis in the federal courts that has led to delayed justice for Americans across the country, Senate Republicans have been using every delay tactic in the books to prevent qualified nominees from getting through the system.

The dotted line represents the average time President Bush’s confirmed judicial nominees at this point in his presidency had to wait for a floor vote after committee approval. The blue lines are President Obama’s nominees – almost all with overwhelming bipartisan support , yet mostly forced to wait for months on end for no reason.

If Senate Republicans keep filibustering these nominees, Sen. Reid will be forced to start a cumbersome and time-consuming cloture process for each and every one of them. Such filibuster abuse is a waste for the Senate’s time, and it’s bad for America’s courts.

David Campos Guaderrama and Gregg Jeffrey Costa, nominated months ago and agreed upon by Texas Democrats and Republicans to fill judicial emergencies in the Western and Southern Districts of Texas, have had their nominations held up because of political games.

Guaderrama and Costa were both unanimously confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and there is no rational reason for their nominations to have been stuck pending on the Senate floor for nearly 100 days.

These courts matter for a lot of reasons. It is time to end the political games and help us stop denying justice for Texans. It looks like the Senate majority is about to make that wish a reality.