Federal Courts and Nominations

Coalition Letter to Senator Dick Durbin Regarding Judicial Vacancies

October 11, 2022

Chair Dick Durbin
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chair Durbin:

We, the undersigned organizations, write to thank you for holding a Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearing on October 12 and to urge you to fully follow the 2018 Republican precedent by scheduling additional hearings in October. As you rightly acknowledged when you scheduled this week’s hearing, you are partially following the precedent set by Senate Republicans when, under then-Chair Chuck Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings for Trump judicial nominees during the October 2018 recess. However, the Grassley precedent goes further than you have currently planned:

  • In October 2018, Senator Grassley held three hearings in three consecutive weeks–two during
    the Senate recess–to consider 14 Trump judicial nominees, five circuits and nine districts.
  • This October, you have announced only one hearing to consider 6 Biden judicial nominees, one
    circuit and five districts–even as 25 Biden judicial nominees await a hearing before your Committee.

We must maximize the limited opportunity to advance more of President Biden’s extraordinary judicial nominees this year. Your current schedule, of one hearing this week and one hearing in mid-November, would leave 15 Biden nominees without a Committee vote this Congress. Therefore, we strongly urge you to schedule additional hearings so more of these nominees can be confirmed to the bench. The Senate Judiciary Committee under your leadership has made tremendous progress in advancing judicial nominees, and indeed, the Senate is on the cusp of an historic record that would put an emphatic stamp on President Biden’s judicial legacy and this Senate’s: President Clinton holds the all-time record for judicial confirmations in a president’s first two years in office, with 128 confirmed federal judges. This record is well within reach for President Biden–but only if you schedule an additional hearing. Your current hearing schedule would fall just three nominees short. We are grateful for your sustained commitment to bringing diversity and balance to our federal judiciary and strongly encourage you to more fully follow the 2018 Republican precedent and schedule additional hearings in order to reach this Congress’s full potential. Operating under the same rules that Republicans used is unquestionably fair and critical to balancing our courts.


American Association for Justice
American Atheists
Constitutional Accountability Center
Demand Justice
Equality California
Freedom from Religion Foundation
Greenpeace USA
Just Solutions
League of Conservation Voters
Muslim Advocates
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Council of Jewish Women
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
People’s Parity Project
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)
Revolving Door Project
Sierra Club
Silver State Equality
Take Back the Court Action Fund
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
Women Lawyers On Guard Action Network, Inc.

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