EJS Legal Director Allison Elgart is among a group of California community leaders traveling to Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 7, to meet with White House officials about the vacancy crisis in America’s federal courts, including the eight “emergency” vacancies and three upcoming retirements in California. Nearly one out of every ten federal judgeships remains vacant, and more than 250 million Americans live in a community with a courtroom vacancy.
Also participating from California:
- John Page, President-Elect, National Bar Association
- Wendy Chang, Co-Chair, Judiciary Committee, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- Kiran Jain, Board Member, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- Paul Hirose, Immediate Past President, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- Sheila Thomas, Civil Rights Attorney
- Harvey Saferstein, Partner, Mintz Levin
- Benjamin Au, Attorney, Caldwell Leslie
They will join 150 community leaders from 27 states in a day of discussions with White House staff. A deal between Senate Republicans and Democrats to allow judicial nominations to proceed in the Senate expires May 7th, and the community leaders are urging the Senate to hold final up-or-down votes on all pending nominees.
After the White House meeting, the community leaders will visit the offices of key senators, including Senators Boxer and Feinstein, to urge them to work to end the delays that have plagued the Senate confirmation process since the beginning of the Obama presidency.
Despite the delays, the overwhelming majority of Obama’s nominees have garnered tremendous bipartisan support, such as Michael Fitzgerald, who was confirmed to the Central District of California in March by a vote of 91-6.
The California community leaders hope their conversations in Washington will help national leaders understand how harmful the confirmation delays have been to Americans who are seeking justice.
Learn more about the vacancy crisis in America’s federal courts at afj.org.