In a letter to Senate leaders, U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are requesting a swift vote on the nomination of William Martinez to the U.S. District Court in Colorado, saying that the delay in action on judicial appointments in Washington is hurting Colorado's court system.
The Senators argue in their letter that Martinez was recommended after a thorough application and selection process conducted by a bipartisan panel of lawyers and former judges in Colorado, and that his experience makes him highly qualified to serve. The letter was sent to the Senate Majority and Minority leaders and the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and lead Republican.
But since he was nominated on February 24 and approved by the Judiciary Committee April 15, Martinez has been caught up in a backlog in Washington that is overwhelming the system of justice in Colorado and across the country. Nationwide, there are 99 vacancies in the federal courts - Martinez would be filling a vacancy that has been open for almost two years.
"We can all agree that the Senate must act quickly on this and other pending judicial nominations in order to avoid further strain on our federal court system," Udall and Bennet wrote. "The federal court system is already burdened by an overwhelming caseload, and the existence of these vacancies only adds to a mounting backlog."
The Senators say it's time to act to help relieve the backlog in Colorado: "We urge you to schedule a vote on the nomination of Mr. Martinez to the United States District Court of Colorado as quickly as possible."