"The U.S. Constitution plainly assigns to the Senate the profound duties of rendering critical advice and consent related to all specific federal judicial nominees whom the President selects. The dynamic roles of senators who directly represent jurisdictions where vacant posts materialize have perennially been crucial to appropriately discharging these essential responsibilities. Senators identify excellent candidates—individuals who possess diversity in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, independence, experience, and ideology, as well as the character and measured judicial temperament to be exceptional jurists—assemble complete applications, comprehensively review the prospects, and interview choices whom the senators duly recommend to the President. After the chief executive nominates aspirants, home state politicians must introduce nominees to their Senate colleagues and to the Judiciary Committee and must encourage plentiful upper chamber members to assiduously support the nominees proffered.
Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennet provides a superlative example for all of his colleagues from both sides of the political aisle, as he has astutely fulfilled those important responsibilities with diligence, expertise, nuanced comprehension of appointments’ compelling, albeit mixed histories, immense respect for candidates, nominees, and colleagues, and consummate grace over his years of extraordinary public service. Indeed, Bennet perceptively effectuated initiatives during the starting half term of President Joe Biden’s administration to enhance bipartisan collaboration when filling appeals court and trial court vacancies, which arise in Colorado as in much of the United States.
The concerted, powerful efforts of Senator Bennet and President Biden have carefully shattered previous records for appointing federal court jurists quantitatively and vis-à-vis the numerous valuable diversity parameters recounted above. Nevertheless, the selection process has yet to markedly improve and could even be deteriorating in a number of states, especially the many jurisdictions which two Grand Old Party (GOP) senators represent, as the chamber failure to appoint a single judge for any “red” state vacancy throughout President Biden’s initial seventeen months compellingly illustrates. On Capitol Hill, principally in the Senate, and effectively in certain geographic areas of the country, Democratic and Republican party accusations and countercharges, stunning partisanship, and striking politicization have created a counterproductive downward spiral which threatens to continue undermining the selection procedures while potentially undercutting public respect for those measures, the presidency, the Senate, the federal courts, and even the rule of law.
In fact, the current state of the appointments process apparently has become sufficiently problematic that Democratic Senator Richard Durbin (IL), the present Judiciary Committee Chair, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC), the current Ranking Member, caustically and cautiously admonished copious Democratic, Republican, and independent colleagues to expand bipartisanship throughout judicial appointments during the initial Biden nominee committee hearing and the panel’s first three Executive Business Meetings as well as numerous subsequent hearings and business meetings of the nascent 118th Congress. Because the Colorado process to appoint federal court jurists has apparently realized considerably greater success than in most of the nation, which may now be partially attributable to Senator Bennet’s prodigious court appointments work, the legislator’s endeavors deserve close review to ascertain whether cogent insights might actually be derived from Colorado’s experience that helpfully inform selection elsewhere." [..]
Carl Tobias, Biden, Bennet, and Bipartisan Federal Judicial Selection, 94 University of Colorado Law Review Forum (2023).