WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is trying to change the face of a federal judiciary that has been dominated by white men — if he can get his nominees past the Senate.
Republicans have used powers accorded to the Senate minority party to slow Obama's influence on the federal bench. But recent changes to Senate rules suggest that the process may begin to move faster, at least at the lower, District Court level.
Under a recent bipartisan agreement, the Senate will limit debate on U.S. District Court judge nominees to two hours, far below the 30 hours that used to be allowed. The hope is that will curtail a tradition that dates back to the Clinton administration of the president's opposing party stalling judicial nominees.