Vacancies in the federal judiciary mounted during Barack Obama's first term as president. He finished with more vacancies (83) than he started with (57), which has not occurred since President Reagan's first term. The unfilled positions have only added to towering caseloads and long waits for court dates in jurisdictions around the country. Although Obama was slower than his predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to submit nominees, filibusters and other gamesmanship in the Senate ground the confirmation process to a near halt. We review the first term as the Obama administration heads into its second, having recently renominated 33 judges whose confirmations had stalled (including 3 for district court openings in California).
To view the Judicial Puzzle in graphic click here.