Letters to the Editor

Congress should fill judicial vacancies

The election is over, and with the lame duck congressional session getting under way, there is a critical opportunity for senators to demonstrate that they can set aside differences and get the people’s work done.


By moving quickly to fill the remaining judicial vacancies that have hamstrung our court system.

Federal courts rule on cases that directly affect our lives, including cases addressing pollution, immigration, bankruptcy, equal rights, access to healthcare. But without adequate staffing, cases get backlogged and justice cannot be served.

Currently, there are more than 60 judicial openings across the federal court system, and many of these vacancies have languished for months, or even years, because of partisan gridlock and obstruction.

All across the country, these vacancies are seriously hurting citizens’ ability to have their day in court.

The lame-duck session in Washington provides senators, including Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, a chance to address this growing crisis. At least two dozen nominees are or will soon be awaiting confirmation votes. Senators need to act quickly and in a bipartisan spirit to make the most of the session by filling the judicial vacancies with qualified nominees.

Mark Ferrulo, executive director, Progress Florida, St. Petersburg