Confirm All Pending Nominees: Stay in Session Until Done

Media 12.2.14

Recipient: U.S. Senate

View the PDF of this letter here.

Dear Senator,

On behalf 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, we strongly urge the Senate to stay in session until the backlog on key judiciary and executive branch nominees has been eliminated.

Throughout the 113th  Congress, President Obama has worked with the Senate on a bipartisan basis to select extraordinarily well-qualified judicial and executive branch nominees who could easily be confirmed by wide margins and begin serving the public. While we remain encouraged by the efforts to confirm as many nominees as possible, there are still more than 150 nominees awaiting confirmation to judgeships, ambassadorships, and important executive positions. Notably, many of these nominees have little or no opposition.

The Senate can and should vote on at least 27 district court judicial nominees, 14 of which are already pending on the Senate floor, and 5 of which are judicial emergencies. Six of the nominees are people of color, while 11 are women, bringing badly-needed and long-overdue diversity to our judicial branch. Moreover, the Senate must confirm a number of executive branch nominees to agencies important to the civil and human rights community.

If this backlog of nominees continues into the following year, it will hinder the ability for the Senate to do other essential work and delay the confirmation of new nominees to fill more vacancies.  Furthermore, because nominations expire at the end of a Congress, the failure to confirm these nominees leads to inefficient use of government resources, from duplicative paperwork to repeated committee hearings and votes. We strongly believe that the continued delay in confirmation of these important nominees will needlessly heighten partisan tensions, and make it far more difficult for the federal government to serve the public interest in any respect, the consequences of which are all but certain to continue into the 114th Congress and beyond.

For these reasons, in the remaining weeks of the 113th Congress, we strongly urge you to finish this critical work in a bipartisan fashion, and proceed with confirmation votes on the more than two dozen judicial nominees and numerous executive branch nominees who remain pending on the Senate floor.  Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Nancy Zirkin at [email protected] or 202-466-3311 or Sakira Cook, Counsel, at [email protected] or (202) 263-2894.


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President