The judicial vacancy crisis must end. The federal bench has experienced nearly a ten percent vacancy rate over an unprecedented four and a half-year period. The substantial number and protracted character of those openings have imposed numerous detrimental effects. These phenomena have delayed the scheduling of jury trials in many civil cases and even propelled termination of some litigation because the Speedy Trial Act requires that criminal matters have precedence. Indeed, the emergency designation has meant that some criminal proceedings were delayed in the Arizona District. The vacancy crisis places additional pressure on sitting judges, particularly the eight senior judges in the Arizona District who have commendably helped address the voluminous docket, but who are also reasonably expected to carry smaller caseloads once they assume senior status.
Carl Tobias, Filling the District of Arizona Vacancies, 56 Ariz. L. Rev. Syl. 4 (2014).