Washington, D.C. – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after seven new judicial nominees were announced today by the Obama Administration. The new nominees join 19 others that are languishing on the Senate floor awaiting confirmation:
“President Obama’s announcement of seven new judicial nominations today, on the Senate’s first week in session following the election, sends an important message about the need to address the lingering and harmful judicial vacancy crisis that is disrupting the administration of justice throughout our nation.
Today’s announcement also reflects the President’s historic commitment to advancing a diverse judiciary that looks like America. If confirmed, these nominees would bring more women, minorities, and openly gay judges to courts to better reflect the nation they serve.
Throughout the president’s first term, the Senate minority has raised obstruction to new levels, doing everything it can to slow down the confirmation process to delay and even deny confirmation votes to highly qualified nominees. The Senate could show its commitment to addressing the vacancy crisis by immediately providing confirmation votes for all 19 judicial nominees whose nominees are now before the full Senate.
With more than 100 vacancies nationwide – including 33 deemed judicial emergencies – we can’t afford another four years of obstructionist tactics. We applaud the president for his actions today in making clear that a functioning judiciary is a high priority for his administration. We urge the Senate to heed that message and take seriously its constitutional responsibility to ‘advise and consent’ to the president’s nominees in a timely matter.”
Nancy Zirkin is executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.