Earthjustice today called Senate Republicans’ strategy to hold up appropriations bills in an effort to pressure Democrats to rush through more nominees to lifetime federal judicial posts a reckless approach to the confirmations process. Since they assumed control of the process in July, Senate Democrats have continued to hold hearings and confirm judges, but Republicans have prevented consideration of the foreign operations bill in an attempt to force a greatly accelerated pace of judicial confirmations.
“A rush to judgment on federal judicial appointments would be dangerous and inappropriate. These judges will decide whether to strike down or enforce environmental and other laws that protect our safety, health, and communities,” said Glenn Sugameli, senior legislative counsel for Earthjustice. “The Senate should only act after it fully and carefully considers each nominee’s record and views on critical environmental and other legal issues.”
Federal judges, once confirmed, hold their positions for life, suggesting that rash confirmations could be especially damaging. Environmental groups place particular importance on a sensible approach to reviewing nominees for the federal bench.
“These judges will be deciding for decades whether or not to uphold the very laws Americans depend on to protect their environment and public health,” Sugameli said.
“Ensuring that new judges uphold the law is particularly important,” added Sugameli, “because an increasing number of current judges have been willing to further their own agendas by hampering citizen access to the courts and by undercutting the federal government’s authority to enforce basic environmental and other safeguards.”