Judiciary

Court Vacancies Lingering

Posted Jun 11, 2007 11:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A slowdown in federal court appointments has conservatives worried that President Bush is neglecting his chance to reshape federal courts.

Bush has not yet nominated candidates for eight federal appeals seats and 16 trial-level judgeships, the Washington Post reports.

The clock is ticking for the lame duck president, conservatives say. They point out that it can take a year to get candidates confirmed, especially when they face increased scrutiny by Democrats. Even some Republicans have differed over some nominations, slowing down the process.

Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the Post he has been pressing the administration to submit more nominees. "I am not disappointed, because the president is busy,” he said. “But there is an opportunity that could be missed if they don't start submitting names."

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