On February 24, 11 prominent law professors—including two from NYU Law—wrote President Barack Obama to express alarm about the slow pace at which federal judges are being nominated and confirmed. The letter pointed out that, to date, the administration had nominated only 43 judges, despite the fact that there are more than 100 judicial vacancies and 31 judicial “emergencies” due to unfilled positions. At the same point in his presidency, President George W. Bush had nominated 89 judges to the federal bench, and by the time he left office he had “transformed the federal judiciary in a sharply conservative direction.” The letter called on President Obama to redouble his efforts in this area.

NYU faculty members Ronald M. Dworkin, Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law and Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, signed the letter.

In a March 2 item on the Huffington Post, another signatory to the letter, Geoffrey R. Stone of the University of Chicago Law School, wrote: “The White House’s response to our letter was to acknowledge the issue and to assure us that it had already begun taking steps to address our concerns.” Stone has been a visiting professor at NYU Law since 2002.

Posted on March 5, 2010