But perhaps even more startling is the fact that of those 82 vacant slots, 61 of them don’t even have a nominee.
On its face, the absence of nominees would appear to be a sign that President Barack Obama is slacking. After all, he is responsible for nominating judges, and he did put forward fewer nominees at the end of his first term than his two predecessors. But a closer look at data on judicial nominees, and conversations with people involved in the nomination process, reveals the bigger problem is Republican senators quietly refusing to recommend potential judges in the first place.
Don’t fall for that baloney that “both sides do it.” We are talking about obstructionism many magnitudes worse than anything done before by either party. The Senate Republicans are willfully damaging the whole American justice system by refusing to even recommend judicial nominees, much less actually vote for them. We are not talking about one or two or a handful of openings, but dozens.