On January 19, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit debated the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance requirement, one of Act’s most important and successful provisions, which was renewed by a near unanimous Congress in 2006 and signed into law by President George W. Bush.
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When the Senate returns for session on January 23rd, there will have been more than 80 vacancies on the federal bench for 936 straight days, dating back all the way to July 2009. Outside of a completely anomalous period when Congress established 85 new judgeships in 1990, never before has the number of vacancies risen so sharply and remained so high for so long during a President’s term.
On Thursday, January 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument in one of the most important civil rights cases pending in the federal courts,Shelby County v. Holder, a case with nationwide ramifications for the right to vote and for our democracy.
Yesterday, in an unusual afternoon session, the Justices of the Supreme Court jumped right into the political thicket, debating the authority of a federal court in Texas to draw election districts for the state’s upcoming primaries.
President Obama announced today that he will use his constitutional authority under the Recess Appointments Clause to install Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three commissioners to the National Labor Relations Board, despite Republican efforts to prevent this by keeping the Senate in pro-forma session during the holiday recess.