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Thanks to Senate Democrats, Our Judicial Vacancy Crisis Is More Out of Order Than Ever Before

Some people in government don’t even need a shutdown to avoid work.

Consider how Senate Democrats are handling President Trump’s judicial nominees. Or, to be more precise, not handling them.

Just before the Christmas break, The Hill reported, Democrats vowed to “reject any end-of-the-year deal on judicial nominations, signaling they’ll toe a tougher line on court appointments amid heavy pressure from the left.”

Typical politics, you say? Sure, partisanship is found on both sides of the aisle. No one can deny that. But the obstruction going on now with judges isn’t a tit-for-tat situation.

Consider what happened in 2014, the last midterm election year. As legal expert Thomas Jipping writes in National Review: “By the last two weeks of the 113th Congress, the Senate had confirmed 115 of President Obama’s judicial nominees, and judicial vacancies were down to about 65. Yet in those last two weeks, the Senate found time to confirm 17 more judges—15 of them without a roll call vote.”

That was no anomaly. The Senate has confirmed judges during 10 of the 11 lame-duck sessions following a midterm election since World War II. In 2014 and 2010, the Senate confirmed an average of 23 judges.

Today, however, with the vacancy situation clearly worse, there’s been no year-end push to confirm judges and to clear out some of the backlog.

That “heavy pressure” is really working. So much so, in fact, that what used to be a crisis magically isn’t anymore, even when it comes to what the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts calls “judicial emergencies”—that is, vacancies that have been open the longest and have the most negative effects on the caseloads of sitting judges.

Read the full story from The Daily Signal

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