Low Number of Judicial Nominations, Confirmations Fuel 'Emergency'

Since President Obama took office, he's had a chance to make nominations for 241 federal judgeships. Fifty-five of them  were vacant slots held over from the Bush administration. Obama has nominated 188 judges, and the Senate has approved 147 of them. That leaves a current total of 94 vacancies — 77 vacant slots and 17 held by judges who have said they plan to retire. Some law professors and advocacy groups say Obama could have had more judges confirmed to the bench had he simply made more nominations over his first three-plus years in office. The National Law Journal looks at what some are calling a judicial emergency.