November 30, 2009 4:54 AM

Commentary: Filling lower federal court openings

On Monday, when United States District Judge Dale Kimball of Utah assumes senior status, a form of semi-retirement, the federal judiciary will pass a critical milestone. Judge Kimball's assumption of senior status will mean that the federal courts presently experience 98 vacancies out of the 858 appellate and district court judgeships. President Barack Obama must swiftly nominate, and the Senate must promptly confirm, appeals and district court judges, so that the federal judiciary will be at full capacity.

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