Both political parties know that one of the lasting impacts presidents will have on the country is through the judges they nominate for federal courts, so both of them have incentive to actively block nominations by the other party’s president. This is easy to do in the Senate using the filibuster, it only requires 41 party loyalists who will follow orders and not vote to cut off debate. This tactic has been commonly used by both parties since at least 1968, when Lyndon Johnson’s chief justice nominee Abe Fortas was withdrawn.

However, according to a statement by the Obama Administration, the current delays on judicial nominations are not only extreme, they are threatening our access to justice through personal injury lawsuits. According to the statement, the average wait for a nominee between approval by the judicial committee and a full Senate vote is 151 days for Obama’s nominations to the circuit courts, compared to 29 days for Bush’s nominees. For district court nominees, the delay is 103 days for Obama’s nominees, compared to 20 days for Bush’s nominees. A judicial nominee who has been approved by the judicial committee has gone through review by Senators from both parties, and 93% of Obama’s nominees received bipartisan support.

These delays can have a serious impact on the resolution of your personal injury lawsuit. In 2009, the average delay for a trial on a civil lawsuit was 25.3 months, and in 2010 15.9% of all civil cases had to wait more than 3 years for a resolution, compared to only 6.6% in 2006. People who bring personal injury lawsuits are often unable to work and have outstanding bills. Imagine waiting 3 years without a paycheck. You would lose your house, your car, and potentially everything dear to you while waiting for justice.

Our Republican Senator Rob Portman has participated in the obstruction of justices. You can write to him and encourage him to at least support a vote for the 80% of waiting candidates that received unanimous approval by both parties in the judicial committee.

Judicial delay is another reason why it is best to start your personal injury lawsuit sooner rather than later. If you have been hurt due to the negligence of another individual or a corporation, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA today for a free case evaluation.