The American Judges Association Blog quotes Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg extensively in a post written by Judge Kevin Burke, former AJA president, entitled “The Broken Confirmation Process.” The American Judges Association is a JAS partner group.
“Our courts should not be held hostage to partisan politics,” the blog quotes Brandenburg as saying. “This remains just as true for the lame-duck session as for any other time of the legislative year.”
“At its heart,” Brandenburg went on to say, “the judicial vacancy crisis is a justice crisis, and this much is clear—justice cannot wait until January.” Brandenburg pointed out that Justice at Stake has long held the view that judicial nominees are entitled to up-or-down confirmation votes, “absent extraordinary circumstances, regardless of who occupies the White House or which party controls the Senate.”
Judge Burke’s post also reports the findings of a Congressional Research Service study that in recent years, blocking judicial nominees has increased (see Gavel Grab for more about the report).
Last week a broad coalition of 23 national organizations, including Justice at Stake, urged Senate leaders to cooperate and hold confirmation votes on pending judicial nominees during the current lame-duck session (see Gavel Grab); JAS has issued a public statement urging action — quoted by AJA Blog — and written its own letter on the topic to Senate leaders.