Civic Commons - Crisis in the Courts

The empty seat on the bench

There may be one thing Republicans and Democrats agree on right now: that there is a crisis in the federal court system. Not surprisingly, they totally disagree on whose fault it is. But here's the big surprise: there might be a solution that all sides can like. The crisis, in short, is the more than 70 vacancies on the federal bench. It's a bigger problem than it sounds: it can take over eighteen months to fill a vacancy; and civil cases can take more than four years to resolve. And now that we've entered the presidential election season, the Senate has stopped tending to current nominations. On the next Civic Commons, Dan Moulthrop sits down with two federal court watchers to dissect a recent panel in which we hear from a sitting federal judge, a top aide to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and voices from all sides of the issue. It's heady, complex stuff, explained for the already engaged and the about-to-care-a-lot.

Discussing and analyzing comments by the Honorable James Gwin, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio; Jeremy Paris, Chief Counsel for Nominations and Oversight for Chairman Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee; Michael Zubrensky, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy, U.S. Department of Justice; Marge Baker, Executive Vice President, People for the American Way;
Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director, Center for Business Law and Regulation, Case Western Reserve University School of Law.


Chris Sagers Professor of Law, Cleveland Marshall College of Law, CSU
Sara Schiavoni Lecturer, Political Science, John Carroll University

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