EJS Legal Director Allison Elgart and EJS Board Member Tobias Barrington Wolff, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, were among 150 leaders who went to the White House this week to share their experiences and concerns about judicial nominations with administration officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder and the president’s judicial selection team.
Alliance for Justice and its national partners (including EJS) in the ongoing judicial nominations battle played a central role in organizing the White House briefing, which was attended by legal leaders from 27 states.
The event energized the participants, and, we hope, the administration for the fights to come, and lent renewed vigor to an effort to end the destructive pattern of procedural delays that have left nearly one in ten federal judgeships without a judge.
The deep sense of urgency conveyed by the participants was motivated by the fact that the Senate has confirmed far fewer nominees at this point in President Obama’s first term than it had for his two predecessors, and that current vacancies on the federal bench have actually risen by 43 percent since he took office.
Participants relayed the frustration growing in communities around the nation as understaffed courts face enormous backlogs and justice is frequently delayed for individuals and businesses whose lives and livelihoods often hang in the balance.