No Time For Victory Laps

Senate Republicans are taking too many victory laps for the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch and more than twenty Circuit Court of Appeals judges during President Trump’s term in office. Now, all the news is focused on the selection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Sorry, guys, but 18 months of doing better than your Republican predecessors is no time for a victory celebration.

The accompanying chart shows that the Senate floor controlled by Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn is sitting on 49 federal judge nominees passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is unconscionable.

Of note, Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz both serve on the Judiciary Committee.

According to supremecourt.gov, “each term, approximately 7,000-8,000 new cases are filed in the Supreme Court. This is a substantially larger volume of cases than was presented to the Court in the last century. In the 1950 Term, for example, the Supreme Court received only 1,195 new cases, and even as recently as the 1975 Term it received only 3,940. Plenary review, with oral arguments by attorneys, is currently granted in about 80 of those cases each Term.”

The Founding Fathers would have never approved of all the attention one Supreme Court vacancy receives and the power they have once confirmed, while ignoring the lower courts.

Yes, it is the Senate’s duty to get the Supreme Court nominations handled, while at the same time addressing the other pending federal judicial nominations. Remember, the lower courts handle the overwhelming bulk of the caseload and are the final say on most matters. Those judgeships may not be as sexy to Sens. Cornyn and McConnell, but the vacancies and accompanying delays have a negative effect on the real people seeking justice.

It’s hard to understand why a Republican president with a Republican majority has 13 federal judges pending since January, six since February, four each in March and April, nine since May, and 13 since June.

The United States Senate should not stand in another recess until there are no vacancies in the federal judiciary. No vacancies will help conservatives begin to peel away the 80 year activist agenda of the Progressive Left to shape laws through the judiciary instead of elections.

Since FDR’s court-packing scheme in the 1930s, the Left has fought a war and “borked” conservative judges while the Republican Establishment has told us they are fighting for us yet were sipping tea with the liberal Senator Joes (Kennedy and Biden).

No more victory laps. No more vacancies. Taxpayers deserve answers for the Senate’s inaction on 49 federal judges. More than that, taxpayers deserve action.

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Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael is president and CEO of Empower Texans. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

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