Obama and Roberts agree: Fill more federal vacancies

President Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts don't always agree -- see their dust-up over last year's State of the Union address -- but the two have come together to urge speedier confirmation of presidential nominees.

Roberts' concern is judges, of course.

In his annual report released night, the U.S. chief justice said the federal judiciary has more than 90 vacancies, and "this has created acute difficulties for some judicial districts. Sitting judges in those districts have been burdened with extraordinary caseloads."

Obama has also protested slow confirmations of many appointees for all kinds of jobs. That's one of the reasons he decided last week to make six recess appointments, including disputed picks for deputy attorney general and envoy to Syria.

But the president and aides tend to blame Republicans for blocking certain appointees.

Chief Justice Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, casts blame on both Democrats and Republicans.

"Each political party has found it easy to turn on a dime from decrying to defending the blocking of judicial nominations, depending on their changing political fortunes," Roberts wrote.

(Posted by David Jackson)

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