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Judges held hostage

Published June 11, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In a comprehensive study, the Congressional Research Service calculated the average number of days it took federal circuit court nominees to be confirmed after the first Senate committee report of their nominations during these presidents' first terms:

• Ronald Reagan: 9.6 days

• George H.W. Bush: 7.8 days

• Bill Clinton:18.5 days

• George W. Bush: 35.3 days

• Barack Obama: 138.5 days

This delay under Obama is bad government. The numbers show an unprecedented and unacceptable degree of partisan obstruction. Any president's nominees should be considered and voted on in a timely fashion.

Senators should not be allowed to gum up the works with filibusters, which require supermajorities. The filibuster was something the Founding Fathers never imagined; they directed simple majority rule for most issues, including nominees.

It is amazing that Constitution thumpers like Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch routinely engage in such extra-constitutional behavior. They're only strict constructionists when it suits them.

The people elected Obama to do his job and nominate judges, and we didn't elect senators to not do theirs and avoid voting on them by employing arcane and undemocratic rules.

Frank Whitaker

Park City