Today, Congressman Charlie Gonzalez (TX-20) and Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-25) participated in a forum to discuss the judicial vacancy crisis in the federal court system. As a result of Senate Republicans' unprecedented obstructionism, there are dozens of judicial emergencies across the country. Six of Texas's 52 judgeships (12%) now sit vacant. The remaining judges are overburdened with tens of thousands of pending cases. The Congressmen talked with the crowd about how the nomination process is supposed to work and how we can end the gridlock. The discussion, hosted by Texans for a Fair Judiciary and the St. Mary's University School of Law Chapter of the American Constitution Society, was attended by law school students and faculty, local attorneys, judicial advocates, and other concerned citizens. Congressman Gonzalez and Congressman Doggett issued the following statements regarding the event and the judicial vacancy crisis:
"For the past three years, Senate Republicans have undertaken an unprecedented effort to block nominees, filibustering judges who are so qualified that, when they do get to the Senate floor, they are confirmed by 90 votes," said Congressman Charlie Gonzalez. "This is denying millions of Americans equal access to one third of our government. It creates uncertainty that keeps businesses from investing, hurting our economy. Senators have a constitutional duty to give these qualified nominees an up-or-down vote but only pressure from the American people can force them to meet this obligation."
"We have many exceptional judicial candidates ready to begin strengthening justice in Texas. This problem of unnecessary, lengthy delay in the appointment process is having negative consequences far beyond the vacancies involved," said Congressman Lloyd Doggett