Now that the 114th Congress has reached the first session’s conclusion, the purported application of regular order to a major Senate constitutional duty—rendering advice and consent on presidential nominees—merits analysis. This evaluation illuminates serious deficiencies, which plagued 2015 confirmations. Especially important was the GOP’s failure to expeditiously suggest aspirants for White House consideration, and specifically failing to fill “judicial emergencies,” provide hearings and ballots swiftly, conduct floor debates when required rapidly, and confirm more than 11 judges all year. This obstruction has numerous deleterious consequences; the most significant, however, is not fulfilling the constitutional responsibility to proffer advice and consent on many nominees. This subverts coordinate branch actions. The courts may now lack the judicial resources which they need to quickly, inexpensively, and equitably conclude litigation, while the delay may deprive the President of higher-level officers who insure the laws’ faithful execution.
Carl Tobias, The Republican Senate and Regular Order, 101 Iowa L. Rev. Online 12 (2016).