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"Barack Obama nominated 69 people for 104 different "federal appellate judgeships during his "presidency and although some nominees were processed by the Republican-controlled "Senate Judiciary Committee, many of them stalled on the floor of the Senate. Obama nominated over three hundred individuals for "federal judgeships. Of these nominations, Congress confirmed three hundred and twenty nine judgeships, 173 during the 111th & 112th Congresses[1] and 156 during the 113th and 114th Congresses.[2]

With the death of "Antonin Scalia in February 2016, in the thick of a "Presidential election year, the Republican majority in the Senate made it their stated policy to refuse to consider any nominee put forward by President Obama, arguing that the next president should be the one to appoint Scalia's replacement. Scalia's death was only the second death of a serving justice in a span of sixty years[3]

Republicans filibustered many nominees, and Senator "Chuck Grassley commented more nominees could have been confirmed had President Obama respected "recess appointment precedent by not making recess appointments while the Senate is in session.[4] Although President Obama had never used a recess appointment to appoint a nominee to the federal bench, he had appointed some executive agency officials in January 2012.

As a response to the continuing blocking of several of President Obama's nominees, Sen. "Harry Reid on November 21, 2013 invoked the so-called "Nuclear option and changed the Senate rules, meaning a simple majority vote will suffice for all nominees except for the Supreme Court.[5]

Contents

Failed Supreme Court nomination[edit]

Garland himself was not personally controversial. However, political commentators widely recognized Scalia as one of the more "conservative members of the Court, and noted that a more "liberal replacement could shift the Court's ideological balance for many years into the future. The confirmation of Garland would have given Democratic appointees a majority on the Supreme Court for the first time since the 1970 confirmation of "Harry Blackmun.[8] After the death of Scalia, Republican Senate leaders announced that they planned to hold no vote on any potential "nomination during the president's last year in office.[9] Senate Democrats responded that there was sufficient time to vote on a nominee before the election.[10] Garland's nomination expired on January 3, 2017, with the end of the "114th Congress. The nomination remained before the Senate for 293 days,[11] more than twice as long as any other "Supreme Court nomination.[12] On January 31, 2017, "President "Donald Trump announced his selection of Judge "Neil Gorsuch for the position. Gorsuch was later confirmed on April 7, 2017 by a vote of 54-45[13] and sworn in on April 10, 2017.[14]

List of failed, stalled or filibustered appellate nominees[edit]

Failed nominees[edit]

Successfully appointed nominees[edit]

List of failed, stalled or filibustered district court nominees[edit]

Failed nominees[edit]

Successfully appointed nominees[edit]

Effects of vacancies[edit]

A 2016 study found the current rate of federal judge vacancies (10 percent) had led prosecutors to dismiss more cases, and defendants to be more likely to plead guilty and less likely to be incarcerated.[140] The authors find that "the current rate of vacancies has resulted in 1,000 fewer prison inmates annually compared to a fully-staffed court system, a 1.5 percent decrease."[140]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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