Not one to simply let Chief Judge Moreno hog all the spotlight, ABA Prez Steve Zack (captured mid-phone above) has jumped in with his own letter about all those darn federal judicial vacancies, and why can't the Senate just get along pre-recess and confirm a few of these folks so that whole system of laws thing doesn't break down, don'tcha know:
Thirty-eight of the present vacancies have existed for so long and created such untenable workloads for the remaining judges on the courts that the seats have been declared judicial emergencies by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. As lawyers who practice in federal courts across this nation, ABA members know firsthand that long-standing vacancies on courts with staggering caseloads impede access to the courts and create strains that will of the courts to vindicate constitutional rights or render fair and timely decisions. In Arizona, for example, the Speedy Trial Act has been temporarily waived, and criminal defendants wait up to 6 months for a trial, while businesses and individuals wait up to 2 years before their cases are heard.So far so good (I mean bad).
But then Steve continues:
We realize that the aging of our federal judiciary has contributed to the growing vacancy crisis.Hey now!
Being the silver-tongued devil that he is, Steve politely refers to the nationwide decaying judge issue as "attrition":
According to Department of Justice estimates, 60 new vacancies will be created through attrition each year for the next decade. Obviously, progress toward reducing vacancies requires a confirmation rate that outpaces the attrition rate; at present, it is barely keeping abreast of it.So I believe what Steve is saying is we either need to develop new methods of preserving and extending the lives of our aging federal judges -- perhaps through alien intervention, cloning, cryonics, or sophisticated and groundbreaking time-travel technologies that are currently beyond our scientific capabilities -- or we just need to confirm some of these nominees.
Hard to tell which is a more realistic and practical course of action given what's happening in DC at the moment.