Below is a guest post by Professor Danshera Cords, a Professor of Law at Albany Law School who is visiting this year at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While there has been a great deal of attention on the Supreme Court vacancy, as the Washington Post reported earlier this year there are many federal judges in limbo awaiting Senate confirmation. Professor Cords reminds us that one byproduct of the partisan divide has been significant delays in the approval of nominated Tax Court judges. Les
The Senate has pending before it two qualified nominees for the U.S. Tax Court. These nominees have been fully vetted; in April, hearings were conducted by the Senate Finance Committee. The Finance Committee unanimously voted to send these nominees to the full Senate for approval. Nomination and confirmation of U.S. Tax Court judges has traditionally been a nonpartisan practice and should continue in that manner. Failure to confirm these two nominees before the recess of the 114th Congress will result in a waste of taxpayer resources to identify and vet these extremely well-qualified candidates. It will also cause hardship to taxpayers whose cases accrue interest while their cases are left to linger while new candidates are identified and vetted after the new administration works through its priority nominations. More than 50 tax law professors, academics, and clinicians have signed this letter urging the Senate to immediately schedule a vote on these two nominees.
UPDATE: Our friends over at the Surly Subgroup have also posted on this here