Why Courts Matter

With 11 Judicial Vacancies, Texas Has Most Open Court Seats in Country

A lot of attention is currently focused on the Supreme Court vacancy that resulted from the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

In Texas, 11 of our federal court seats don't have a judge, far more than any other state in the country. Nine of those vacancies qualify as "emergency vacancies" - which means the delays are of extraordinary length and creating a back-up in the courts. Read more about With 11 Judicial Vacancies, Texas Has Most Open Court Seats in Country

VIDEO: Cornyn and Cruz Create Judicial Emergency by Slowing Nominations

For nearly three years, U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have been slowing down the process associated with President Obama's ability to nominate federal judges in Texas.

So all of the issues you care about - immigration, health care, rights of same-sex couples - languish in court, causing a legal backlog of 12,000 cases and creating a judicial emergency because of politics. Read more about VIDEO: Cornyn and Cruz Create Judicial Emergency by Slowing Nominations

What 5,000 Days Without Federal Court Judges Means for Texas

Texas' federal courts make rulings on almost every issue important to our state. While so much attention is given to the Supreme Court, it's critical to remember that dozens of federal judges in Texas have lifetime appointments to serve on lower federal courts, where they hear hundreds if not thousands of times the number of cases the Supreme Court hears.

And most of the time, on the biggest issues of the day, it’s the lower federal courts that have the final say. Read more about What 5,000 Days Without Federal Court Judges Means for Texas

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