Senate Confirms Ninth and Tenth District Judges in Lame Duck

The Senate has continued to trim a backlog of pending judicial nominations. On Monday it confirmed Thomas Durkin for a federal district court judgeship in Illinois and Fernando Olguin for a district court judgeship in California by voice votes.

Since Dec. 3, the Senate has now confirmed 10 federal district court judges in its lame-duck session, according to a Chicago Tribune article. It has not taken up any of a handful of appeals court nominations that are pending.

There still are 60 district court vacancies, University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias wrote in an op-ed for The Hill, and they “undercut the fast, economical and equitable resolution of filings. Therefore, as the Senate lame duck session proceeds, President Obama must promptly nominate, and senators expeditiously approve, numerous judges, so the courts can deliver justice.”

Tobias also had op-eds in the (Newark) Star-Ledger, entitled “Judge [Patty] Shwartz deserves Senate confirmation vote, finally,” and in the Providence Journal, “Past time to confirm Mainer for First Circuit.” At, ¬†Abel Harding had a commentary that was headlined, “U.S. senator’s objections to Judge [Brian] Davis [nomination] ring hollow.”


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