Texas Republicans Stall Court Nominations, Create Judicial Emergency
With so many issues before the court, judicial nominations should be a growing concern for every American. Yet in a level of unprecedented obstructionism, Republicans are playing politics with our system of justice.
Texas has eleven judicial vacancies, more than any other state in the country. Six of those vacancies are classified as emergency vacancies by the Office of the U.S. Courts. Though President Obama recently nominated three judges to fill those vacancies, Republicans know that there are three future vacancies coming up in less than a year.
Texas's Republican Senators have filled vacancies slower under President Barack Obama than President George W. Bush, according to an analysis of judicial appointments through July 1 of the 6th year of their respective terms of office.
Here's how the numbers breakdown:
|APPOINTED TEXAS JUDGES TO TEXAS'S FEDERAL COURTS, AS OF JULY 1 IN 6TH YEAR IN OFFICE|
|PRESIDENT||DISTRICT COURT||CIRCUIT COURT|
|George W. Bush||18||4|
|There are currently 11 vacancies in Texas's federal courts.
As of July 1, Sens. Cornyn and Cruz have only sent
President Obama three nominees to fill those vacancies.
|Source: United States Courts, "Biographical Directory of Judges" http://www.uscourts.gov/JudgesAndJudgeships/BiographicalDirectoryOfJudges.aspx|
Why the delay? The answer lies solely with Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Demand they stop using delay tactics and start nominating qualified, diverse judges to fill Texas's judicial vacancies.
Though the President officially nominates judges to court vacancies, there is a long-standing tradition in the Senate that grants senators a de facto veto over judicial nominees from their home state. Sens. Cornyn and Cruz have deliberately delayed sending enough names to President Obama for him to fill the 11 vacancies, an issue we highlighted in a recent report, "Texas, Where are the Judges?"