“So one of the most important responsibilities of a President is to nominate qualified men and women to serve as judges on the federal bench.
And Congress has a responsibility, as well. The Senate is tasked with providing advice and consent. They can approve a President’s nominee or they can reject a President’s nominee. But they have a constitutional duty to promptly consider judicial nominees for confirmation.
Now, throughout my first term as President, the Senate too often failed to do that. Time and again, congressional Republicans cynically used Senate rules and procedures to delay and even block qualified nominees from coming to a full vote.
As a result, my judicial nominees have waited three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my Republican predecessor. Let me repeat that: My nominees have taken three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my Republican predecessor. These individuals that I nominate are qualified. When they were given an up or down vote in the Senate — when they were finally given an up or down vote in the Senate, every one of them was confirmed. So this is not about principled opposition. This is about political obstruction.
I recognize that neither party has a perfect track record here. Democrats weren’t completely blameless when I was in the Senate. But what’s happening now is unprecedented. For the good of the American people, it has to stop. Too much of the people’s business is at stake. Our legal framework depends on timely confirmations of judicial nominees. And nowhere is this more apparent than with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The D.C. Circuit is known as the second highest court in the country, and there’s a good reason for that. The judges on the D.C. Circuit routinely have the final say on a broad range of cases involving everything from national security to environmental policy; from questions of campaign finance to workers’ rights. In other words, the court’s decisions impact almost every aspect of our lives.”
Full text: http://1.usa.gov/15DYK7Q