Today's Filibuster Vote on Unopposed Nominee to Test Senator Cornyn and Hutchison's Commitment to Courts
Recently federal district court judges Sam Sparks and Lee Yeakel, from the bench, talked about rapidly increasing caseloads and the need to fill the judicial vacancies across the State of Texas. Unfortunately this issue is a national one, the load of federal court cases is rising across the nation, 4.4% in just one year, for a total of 397,974 cases filed in 2011, yet out of a total of 874 federal judgeships, there are 77 vacancies across the country including 6 in Texas, with an additional 3 on the horizon.
With our courts in desperate need of more judges, why are Texas Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn participating in filibusters of consensus judicial candidates that have the support of both Republicans and Democrats?
Senator Tom Coburn, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma said, “I believe that Judge Bacharach will uphold the highest standards and reflect the best in our American judicial tradition by coming to the bench as a well-regarded member of the community.” Speaking about the possible blockade of a Senate floor vote on Judge Bacharach, Sen. Coburn said, “I think it’s stupid.”
It seems that both Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn would have agreed with Senator Coburn’s sentiment under previous administrations.
When George W. Bush was president, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) insisted that requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster of a judicial nominee would be “changing the Constitution,” and Sen. Cornyn demanded the Senate “provide the up -or -down vote the U.S. Constitution demands.” Sen. Cornyn said “that filibusters of judicial nominees are not what the Founders intended.”
Indeed, the Senate has never blocked the confirmation of a nominee like Bacharach who is unopposed, strongly supported by his Republican home-state senators, and received bipartisan (nearly unanimous) Judiciary Committee support.
This afternoon the U.S. Senate will vote on whether to filibuster U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Bacharach’s unopposed nomination to the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals giving Senators Cornyn and Hutchison a clear opportunity to make good on their commitment to filling judicial vacancies and allow Judge Bacharach a fair up or down vote. The question is whether they will choose politics and obstruction or the nation’s courts?
Call right now and tell them: “Do the right thing and put our courts ahead of politics. Vote today to end the filibuster of Judge Bacharach.”
Senator John Cornyn’s DC Office: (202) 224-2934
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's DC Office: (202) 224-5922
It might seem pointless to contact the offices of conservatives Senators Cornyn and Hutchison, but it makes an enormous difference. The fact is that in the past when our members have taken action, Senators Cornyn and Hutchison have responded. Your pressure has a real effect on their decisions. Call today using the numbers above and put the pressure on them to do the right thing.