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January 06, 2016

Inquirer Letter to the Editor on Judicial Nominations

On Jan. 6, 2016, the following letter to the editor was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding judicial nominations:

To the Editor:

More than a year ago, President Obama nominated U.S. District Court Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Although he is eminently qualified, Judge Restrepo’s nomination has hung in limbo while the U. S. Senate delayed scheduling a confirmation vote.

We welcome the Senate’s long overdue vote on Judge Restrepo’s nomination next week. This delay, however, exemplifies a serious crisis in our federal court system. Dozens of judicial nominations have been delayed due solely to Senate politics. A diminished judiciary deprives parties of their day in court, reduces the quality of our justice system and erodes public confidence.

Pennsylvania is among the hardest hit states. Four other nominees have been awaiting confirmation since July—Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge John Milton Younge, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and three judges, Susan Paradise Baxter, Robert John Colville and Marilyn Jean Horan, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey have lauded the qualifications of all four nominees.

We call on the Senate to expedite the confirmation process for all judicial nominees and deliver access to justice for all.

Sincerely,

Gaetan J. Alfano, Chancellor
Deborah R. Gross, Chancellor-Elect
Mary F. Platt, Vice Chancellor
Philadelphia Bar Association

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