One of the tactics used by Republicans to obstruct the Obama administration has been the unprecedented delays involved in confirming judicial nominees. What was once a routine confirmation process has become a time-consuming ordeal that most nominees aren't willing to endure for the position offered. The following graphic helps contrast the differences between nomination and confirmation periods of Presidents Bush and Obama, courtesy of Rachel Maddow's blog:
On Monday, the Senate unanimously confirmed Richard Taranto to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Court. Taranto was nominated 17 months ago, and his confirmation hearings were held more than a year ago. The vacancy on the bench was created when a judge retired three years ago. Obama's first choice for the position waited a year, then withdrew his name from consideration. Taranto, whom all agree is well-qualified, had to wait 484 days for his confirmation to the bench. There was no reason for the delay, which is apparent when you consider Taranto was confirmed by a 91-0 vote.
It's been a courtesy to the office of the President that his choices for judicial positions be approved, unless there is clear evidence of unfitness for the office, or some other scandal or conflict that would deny the President's selection. Only during Obama's term in office has the confirmation of judicial appointments been used to further partisan political gridlock.
Check out the graph: under Bush, circuit court confirmations took an average of 35 days, while Obama's nominees have had to wait 147 days. District court nominees under Bush were confirmed in 34 days, on average, while Obama's selections have been delayed an average of 110 days.
There isn't one, single thing Republicans haven't done to slow progress and reform during President Obama's term in office, including this unprecedented willingness to meddle in judicial appointments and confirmations.
You won't hear about this on Faux News, and I doubt Rush Limbaugh is going to point it out, either.
One political party in Washington has done NOTHING but gum up the works to oppose everything this president has tried to do in office, and it's time this sort of information reached a wider audience.
Next time your crazy rightwing brother-in-law wants to whine about Congress' inability to get anything done, remind him of this graph.