the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler on the Senate Filibuster of Judge Robert Bacharach

Today, Senate Republicans blocked the nomination of Judge Robert Bacharach to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Oklahoma.  Judge Bacharach’s qualifications are beyond dispute: he served as a federal judge for more than a dozen years, he was unanimously deemed “well qualified” by the American Bar Association, and he enjoys strong bipartisan support, including the backing of both of his Republican home-state Senators and was easily reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The American people deserve better than this unprecedented partisan obstruction of the President’s efforts to ensure a fair and functioning judiciary.

Nearly one in eleven federal judgeships stands empty.  The judicial vacancy rate has never been this high for this long.  Currently there are 20 judicial nominees waiting for consideration by the Senate, half of whom would fill vacancies deemed judicial emergencies. Almost all of these nominees have the support of the majority of Committee Republicans, and nine are supported by their Republican home-state Senators. These nominees should be confirmed immediately.