Obama Plans to Pick Up the Pace on Judges

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Liberals have been griping for a long time that President Obama bears some of the blame for the slow pace of judicial confirmations during his first term. Sure, Republicans in the Senate have been obstructionist, but Obama himself has nominated many fewer judges than other presidents have during their first years in office. Apparently that’s about to change:

Reelected with strong support from women, ethnic minorities and gays, Obama is moving quickly to change the face of the federal judiciary by the end of his second term, setting the stage for another series of drawn-out confrontations with Republicans in Congress.

The president has named three dozen judicial candidates since January and is expected to nominate scores more over the next few months, aides said. The push marks a significant departure from the sluggish pace of appointments throughout much of his first term, when both Republicans and some Democrats complained that Obama had not tried hard enough to fill vacancies on federal courts.

That’s good to hear. The rest of the piece is about how diverse Obama’s selections have been, along with some Republican comments about how, you know, they don’t object to diverse judges, but they are concerned about whether this is just affirmative action in disguise, so maybe we’re not getting the high quality of judges that we should be, blah blah blah. But I liked this comment from the lefty side of the aisle:

Liberal groups have been pressuring the White House to look for diversity not just in race, gender or sexual orientation, but also in professional experience. They want fewer corporate lawyers from white-shoe firms and more public defenders and lawyers from outside what is sometimes called the “judicial monastery.”

Yay! Fewer corporate attorneys, please. Fewer Ivy League grads, please. Fewer Wall Street professionals, please. There are plenty of good judges with other backgrounds.

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And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

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