Judicial

Bipartisanship and filling the federal bench

On September 10, the 112th “Do Nothing” Senate returned to the nation’s capital following the lengthy August recess. The upper chamber recessed that Friday after learning the House of Representatives had chosen to do very little except adopt the Continuing Resolution which allows the government to continue operating.

The Senate came back this Wednesday to consider the Continuing Resolution. Before chamber members leave town, senators must finish one essential piece of business. The chamber needs to consider all 17 highly qualified district court nominees whom President Barack Obama carefully submitted and the Judiciary Committee reported before the Senate departed for the summer recess. Each of these nominees is excellent and has received enthusiastic support of home state senators, especially Republicans, 14 won approval without any negative votes on their candidacies’ substance and 12 will occupy vacancies designated “judicial emergencies” due to their length or substantial dockets.

Read More...

How well do you know the Constitution?

This past Monday marked the 225th anniversary of when our Founding Fathers signed the Constitution.

This document represents our Founder’s great hope for the United States – Hope that it could be a place free of tyranny and oppression, and a place where the law protects our liberty, not dictates our lives.

Read More...

Constitution Day and lower federal court vacancies

On Constitution Day, the United States pays homage to the document which has bound the nation together for 225 years. Many facets of the Constitution reflect the Framers’ genius. One is requiring interbranch cooperation, so that no branch accumulates too much power. Illustrative is Article II’s provision for judicial appointments. The Constitution states that the President nominates, and with Senate advice and consent appoints, federal judges. On Constitution Day, it is fitting to scrutinize that responsibility’s discharge and ascertain whether selection is functioning as intended. Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Read More...

Judicial vacancies in Texas undercut delivery of justice

Last month, U.S. Circuit Judge Emilio Garza took senior status after 20 years of dedicated service. His action means that the judiciary has 78 openings in the 856 appellate and district judgeships, while the Fifth Circuit has two in seventeen and the Texas District Courts have four in forty-one. These vacancies, which constitute almost ten percent of the judgeships systemwide, twelve percent in the Fifth Circuit and ten percent for the Texas Districts undercut the delivery of justice. Accordingly, President Barack Obama must promptly nominate, and the Senate expeditiously approve, circuit and district judges, so that the empty seats will be filled nationwide as well as in the Fifth Circuit and Texas Districts.

Read More...

Senate should not invoke 'Thurmond Rule' to block Kayatta nomination

In June, the Senate GOP leadership proclaimed that it would invoke the “Thurmond Rule” and oppose appointment of each appeals court nominee recommended by President Barack Obama until after the November election. This decision threatens the confirmation of William Kayatta, the excellent, noncontroversial nominee whom Obama selected after First Circuit Judge Kermit Lipez took senior status in late 2011. Because Mr. Kayatta is a strong consensus nominee, he does not satisfy the Thurmond Rule and GOP senators must expeditiously allow a floor vote. Should the Republican leaders refuse to vote, Maine GOP Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins must join other senators in favoring cloture, so that Kayatta secures a merits vote.

Read More...

Expanding protections for antitrust whistleblowers - A good start

The proposed antitrust whistleblower legislation introduced last week by Senators Leahy (D-Vt.) and Grassley (R-Iowa) is certainly a step in the right direction. It would for the first time provide protections for employees reporting to the government or within their company antitrust violations in which their company is actually or potentially engaging. Up until now, the government has largely relied on the antitrust wrongdoers themselves to self-report their criminal conduct through the government's corporate leniency program. The draft legislation follows the recommendations the Government Accountability Office (GAO) made in a report it released last summer. After studying the state of criminal antitrust enforcement, the GAO concluded that bringing whistleblowers into the enforcement mix would be an important supplement to the leniency program.

Read More...

Filling the Eleventh Circuit vacancies

This month, Eleventh Circuit Judge J. L. Edmondson assumes senior status after a quarter century of valuable service. His decision leaves the bench with 13 vacancies in the 179 appeals court judgeships and the Eleventh Circuit with two in twelve. These openings, which comprise more than seven percent of the judgeships nationwide and 17 percent in the Eleventh Circuit erode the delivery of justice. Therefore, President Barack Obama must swiftly nominate, and the Senate promptly confirm, appellate judges, so that the vacancies will be filled systemwide and in the Eleventh Circuit.

Read More...

Gridlock must end for VAWA

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), consistently described by the media as “a piece of legislation that has always enjoyed bipartisan support,” is trapped in congressional stalemate. VAWA has the support of the states’ attorneys general, more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations, including organizations of medical professionals, the broadest possible range of faith groups, as well as criminal justice system personnel, so it would be a devastating shame if VAWA itself falls victim to the gridlocked politics that have killed so many other worthy bills.

Read More...

GOP choosing path of partisan acrimony with contempt vote

If  House Republicans are sincerely trying to obtain documents important to their “Operation Fast and Furious” investigation, rather than just provoking another partisan confrontation with a Democratic president, they are doing it all wrong.

The right way is now established.

Read More...

Why does the government halt skilled immigration?

Just two months after the government started accepting applications, next year’s highly skilled worker visas hit the numerical cap. No firm will be now able to apply to sponsor highly skilled foreign workers. Foreign high skilled workers neither “take” American jobs nor do they lower American wages. The low numerical cap, along with other regulations and visa fees, need to go, if the American economy is to grow.
 
The H-1B visa is a three year, employer-sponsored work visa, renewable one time, for highly skilled foreign workers. Only 85, 000 such visas are issued to annually to private firms.

Read More...

Pages