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Letters: Filling court vacancies, slowly

January 09, 2013

Re "Obama struggles to fill federal court vacancies," Jan. 6

The Times overstates President Obama's (and understates Republicans') responsibility for the persistent judicial vacancies.

The federal bench now has more than 80 lower court vacancies. Over the last 31/2 years, the courts have had at least 70 openings, with more than 100 at one point. Last week, the Senate adjourned without considering the 11 highly qualified nominees on the floor. In contrast, on Thursday, Obama renominated all 33 nominees whom he had nominated earlier. Thus, when the new Senate returns Jan. 21, the chamber must cooperate with Obama to fill the openings, so the judiciary can deliver justice.

Carl Tobias

Richmond, Va.

The writer is a professor of law at the University of Richmond.

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