LDF stands in support of the Senate’s action today to resolve the judicial confirmation crisis that has interfered with the essential functioning of our federal judiciary. 

Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel stated: 

With one of every ten federal judgeships vacant, it is imperative that the confirmation process work properly.  Our clients and countless victims of discrimination around the country must rely on the federal courts to enforce their statutory and constitutional rights.  Those courts must be fully staffed before justice can be served.  Moreover, the refusal to confirm judges has interfered with President Obama’s praiseworthy efforts to diversify the federal bench with women, people of color, and lawyers from a broad range of practice experience. 

The Constitution provides that the President holds the power to nominate federal judges.  The Senate has the constitutional obligation to ensure that qualified nominees are confirmed, so that the critically important business of the third branch of government can go forward. The federal judiciary has been held hostage far too long by the unprecedented use of the filibuster against judicial nominees. The very foundation of our democracy is threatened when the Senate can no longer exercise its advice and consent role in appointing federal judges.       

For these reasons, we strongly support the vote by the Senate today.  We look forward to the resumption of the Senate’s traditional role in providing advice and consent on nominees to the federal bench.