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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Federal judges

I was reading a post at Ernie the Attorney about the problems with filling vacancies on the federal bench. Ernie sums it up better than I ever could. But, as someone who has watched the process for many years, I think it can be summed up in two words: Political baggage. Either the nominee has political baggage or the people in the approval process pile their own political baggage onto the nominee. All that, of course, is notwithstanding the power factor. In the last ten years, in my observation, the process has gone from bad to really bad to really really bad.

Occasionally, though, things go right. Earlier this year in Illinois a nominee was recommended by the Republican Illinois senator, endorsed by the Democratic senator, approved by the senate with a vote of 89 to zero, and sworn in. All of this happened Between January and August. This was district court versus appellate court, as in the case Ernie talks about. But, still, that it happened so fast is very noteworthy. The nominee in this case is an immigrant of Armenian descent, having been born in Syria and raised in Beirut. That is really something.

See, Medill: From Armenia to the federal bench

Posted by Marie at November 4, 2003 10:14 PM