During the 2008 presidential campaign, I wrote repeatedly that the future of
the federal judiciary was one key reason to choose between the candidates. As
the Obama administration approaches the halfway mark, his political victory has
been frustrated in respect to his impact on the judicial branch.
A recent report by the Alliance for Justice on “The State of the Judiciary” concluded that judicial appointments have been “fraught with dramatic and unprecedented delays” as a result of “a deliberate pattern of obstruction,” to a level unprecedented since 1970. There are about as many vacancies now as when President Obama took office. Even nominations that were approved by the Judiciary Committee have been held up for votes on the floor.