Not Too Late for Senate to Confirm Judges Before Adjourning, Group Says

SENATE STILL CAN CONFIRM JUDGES: “Before adjourning for the holidays,” Senate Republicans “should give the nation a gift — a slightly better staffed federal bench, with fewer judicial emergencies — by holding votes immediately” to confirm long pending judicial nominations, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urged at Medium.

The Senate confirmed its last judicial nominee more than five months ago. It “has confirmed only two circuit court and 18 district court nominees in the 114th Congress,” and there are 25 fully vetted nominees awaiting Senate votes now, the Leadership Conference said. The nominees could be confirmed in minutes. Meanwhile, the American people are harmed by vacant judgeships, the group said, pointing to a prime example in Idaho where only one active federal judge has been at work since July 2015.

“After the 2008 election, none of George W. Bush’s nominees were left stranded on the Senate floor,” the group concluded. “In fact, a Democratic Senate confirmed 68 of Bush’s lower-court nominees in the final two years of his administration. Today, Republicans shouldn’t be rewarded for obstruction, or for their postponement of justice for many Americans.” Other coverage included McClatchy, “Waiting for [President-elect] Trump: Judicial nominees stalled as Congress readies to adjourn”; and Florida Politics, “In waning days of 114th Congress, progressive coalition presses Marco Rubio to push for voting on judicial nominees.”

STATE COURT NEWS: From Little Rock, Reuters reported, “Birth certificates issued in Arkansas must identify the biological parents even if the child is subsequently adopted by a same-sex couple, a divided state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.”

Reuters elaborated, “A four-member court majority reversed Little Rock Circuit Judge Tim Fox’s finding in December 2015 that the state’s insistence on identifying both mother and father were infringements on the constitutional due process rights of adoptive gay and lesbian couples.”