Editorial: Senate needs to confirm 33 judges
BY World's Editorials Writers
Saturday, January 05, 2013
1/05/13 at 8:13 AM
How long is too long? Ask any of the 33 people who've waited in the wings for months - some even years - to be confirmed for federal judgeships by a mule-stubborn Senate.
Republican senators, led by Senate Pro Tem Mitch McConnell, need to get over the fact that Barack Obama won a second term and confirm the president's nominees for judicial vacancies. It's not just Obama they're hurting in further delaying these confirmations - including that of U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Bacharach in Oklahoma City for a spot on the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver. Further delays are affecting case flow and impeding litigants' day in court.
There is a judicial vacancy crisis.
All of the nominees should and could have been confirmed last year. Of the 33, a third were approved by the Judiciary Committee in 2012 but were stalled by Republicans on the Senate floor. Others were awaiting hearings or votes in committee.
Bacharach has strong bipartisan support. He has served on the federal bench in Oklahoma City for at least a decade. Both Oklahoma senators have said Bacharach is qualified and would be an excellent replacement for Robert Henry, who resigned the judgeship in 2010 to become president of Oklahoma City University.
During the next few months Obama will fill four of 12 spots on the 10th Circuit bench, including vacancies in Kansas, Utah, Wyoming and Oklahoma.
Bacharach is a well-qualified mainstream nominee. He will serve the court well. But he has to get there first.
It's time. Too long is too long.
Original Print Headline: Quit stalling