Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings for four judicial vacancies. The nominees include Charles Eskridge (nominated for the Southern District of Texas), Peter Phipps (nominated for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals), William Stickman IV (nominated for the Western District of Pennsylvania), and Jennifer Wilson (nominated for the Middle District of Pennsylvania). The nominations for the U.S. District Court positions are especially important because 118 vacancies remain unfilled.
A final decision on whether to confirm the nominees will be made by a full Senate vote.
Democrats continue to try to prevent the President’s nominees from being confirmed despite a long history of the Senate confirming most Presidential judicial nominees with little opposition.
A recent article by Thomas Jipping in the National Review notes:
The U.S. District Court judges appointed by Presidents John F. Kennedy to Obama receive an average of less than one negative confirmation vote, compared to 15 for Trump’s district-court nominees. And opposition to Trump’s judicial nominees has been increasing since he took office. His district-court nominees received an average of eight negative votes during his first two years, but that has jumped to an average of 38 negative votes this year.
Recently, Democratic Senator from Arizona Kyrsten Sinema made headlines by voting “yes” on two district court nominations. More Democrats should follow her lead and honor the traditions of the Senate by focusing on the nominees’ individual merits rather than using the process to wage a proxy war against President Trump.
Republican Senators should continue to support the President’s priorities and Democrats should stop their obstruction of judicial nominations and vote yes on Eskridge, Phipps, Stickman, and Wilson during the final votes on their confirmation.