Chief Justice Roberts calls for end to partisan stalling over nominees

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In his annual report released Friday night, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John G. Roberts Jr. called out both parties for blocking judicial appointments and creating a political gridlock of nominees in the Senate.

Roberts has asked that the Senate stop stalling judicial nominees, and make progress on filling the 110 vacancies.

Roberts asked both Democrats and Republicans to more swiftly approve judicial nominees to the federal bench. Currently there are 110 positions unfilled, and only 62 have been approved by the Senate in the last two years, making it the lowest number for a new president in forty years.

In the same period during the presidency of George W. Bush, the Senate had confirmed over 100 nominees.

Even though the message was not specific to either party, observers said that in reality, it was more directed towards the action of Senate Republicans who have sought to minimize President Obama’s influence on the federal court system.

“Each political party has found it easy to turn on a dime from decrying to defending the blocking of judicial nominations, depending on their changing political fortunes,” Said Roberts. “This has created acute difficulties for some judicial districts. Sitting judges have been burdened with extraordinary caseloads.”

The report listed areas in which caseloads grew the most in 2010. Nonbusiness bankruptcies were up 14 percent to about 1.6 million, fraud cases up by 12 percent to 9,400 and immigration violations up by 9 percent to 28,000.

Roberts called on federal judges and staff to continue to cut expenses and look to streamline operations to save money. “As a result of those efforts, and notwithstanding increases in operating costs owing to inflation, the court expects to voluntarily reduce its fiscal year 2012 appropriations request to less than its fiscal year 2011 request. Not many other federal government entities can say that,” Roberts said.

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Comment (1)
  1. Dan DeLay says:

    Now, do some talkin’ to yer cohorts on da bench, son…………/dd

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