I don't think I've written about this for month now, and guess what? Limited good news to report.
In September, the Senate managed to confirm three nominees: two district judges and one at the circuit level. Which is all well and good, except that it didn't quite keep up with the four new openings (including the one created by elevating Judge Bernice Bouie Donald). Or the five new vacancies from the Senate's August recess. All told, there are now 18 Court of Appeals vacancies and 75 (!) District Court vacancies.
However, six confirmations (including one Circuit nomination) are now scheduled for next week, and four more will be scheduled later in October. Hey, it's something! But not very much.
Barack Obama is, to his credit, continuing to do a somewhat better job of actually nominating people for all these spots (12 of 18 Appeals, and 44 of 75 District). Not great, or even good, but better than during his first two years.
But there's just been very little action from the White House, at least not visible action, to push the Senate to act. No presidential speeches, no sustained campaign, nothing. A month ago there was something on the White House home page; it's gone now.
We're coming down to the wire here. The Senate is hardly likely to be more open to confirming these people next year, with the presidential election just months away. If Obama wants the Senate to do any better than treading water, he's going to have to put some pressure on. Unfortunately, there's very little evidence that Obama considers this very important at all, and the most likely scenario is that he ends his term with more vacancies than there are now.