Elizabeth Warren pushes Obama on judicial nominations

The senator also warned the courts are becoming a "wholly owned subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce"

Published June 14, 2013 6:50PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Adam Hunger)
(Reuters/Adam Hunger)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a group of liberal lawyers last night that they should press the president to speed up the judicial nomination process, and warned that failing to do so would lead to increasing corporate influence over the courts.

"Above all, we must make judicial nominations a priority. It’s time for a new generation of judges, judges whose life experience extends beyond big firms, federal prosecution, and white-collar defense," she said in a speech before the American Constitution Society.

"We need sustained pressure to get those judges in front of the Senate. Pressure -- pressure on our president, pressure on senators, pressure in the press," she added.

The White House has been in a prolonged standoff with Senate Republicans over judicial nominations, especially those for the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Some progressives have criticized the president for waiting too long to make appointments to fill three vacant seats on the court, and have called for him to name appointees for other federal courts as well.

Warren, a former Harvard Law professor, also criticized the "increasingly brazen and ideological pro-corporate tilt" of the Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit. "Follow this pro-business trend to its logical conclusion, and sooner or later you’ll end up with a Supreme Court that functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce."

By Alex Seitz-Wald

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