The federal judiciary has experienced a vacancy crisis, which has intensified over President Donald Trump's tenure when judicial openings significantly increased from the 105 vacancies at his inauguration. Despite these concerns, analysts hail court selection as Trump's paramount success. This Article canvasses the rise and expansion of the crisis and scrutinizes the practices which Trump and the I 15th Senate instituted, as Republican concentration on quickly appointing many conservative appeals court judges resulted in departures from longstanding precedents and undermined the presidential discharge of constitutional responsibilities to nominate and confirm impressive jurists as well as senatorial duties to advise and consent. Finally, this Article surveys the implications of these procedures and proffers suggestions for the future. During the near term, the President should meticulously consult home state political figures and concomitantly revitalize deployment of ABA evaluations and ratings. The Senate, in turn, must analogously revitalize constructive devices, principally blue slips and complete, rigorous nominee hearings, committee discussions, and chamber debates. Over the longer term, the Republican and Democratic parties might consider effectuating a bipartisan judiciary, namely with the passage of judgeship legislation.
Carl Tobias, Curing the Federal Court Vacancy Crisis, 53 Wake Forest L. Rev. 883 (2018).