The Senate voted on Thursday to eliminate the use of the filibuster against most presidential nominees, a move that will break the Republican blockade of President Obama’s picks to cabinet posts and the federal judiciary. The change is the most fundamental shift in the way the Senate functions in more than a generation.
This is a big deal for the judiciary. Republican efforts to thwart Obama's picks will be diminished, particularly on the influential DC Circuit Court of Appeals which has three vacancies.
Overall, there are 18 vacancies on federal appeals court and 75 on federal district courts.
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People for the American Way writes that President-Elect Barack Obama's win yesterday brings a mandate on our federal judiciary:
Looking at yesterday’s results, it’s incontrovertible that the election delivered a sweeping mandate for President-elect Obama to appoint federal judges who are committed to core constitutional values: justice, equality, and opportunity for all. In the election the public rejected the efforts of the right wing to stack the federal courts with ideological jurists like Justices Scalia and Alito often called “strict constructionists.”
Obama's view of the courts: [More...]
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