Howard Bashman states the obvious:
As matters now stand, it appears certain that President Bush has won reelection, and Republicans appear poised to control a total of 55 seats in the U.S. Senate. At least two Justices serving on the U.S. Supreme Court are likely to retire from the Court before the end of President Bush's second term (the Chief Justice and Sandra Day O'Connor), and more vacancies are always a possibility.Indeed. And of course, Nomination Nation will be your best source for exclusive news and commentary on the judicial nominations process in the coming weeks, months, and years.
Assuming that Republicans emerge with 55 seats in the Senate, it will be very interesting to see whether the Senate's new Democratic leadership will continue to use procedural maneuvers, such as filibusters, to block [certain] judicial nominees.... [W]hile the Senate's new composition may move Republicans closer to defeating judicial filibusters, it may not be sufficient to do so. On the other hand, more moderate Democrats may view the use of filibusters to block judicial nominees as less desirable....
The list of U.S. Court of Appeals nominees who are currently the subject of a filibuster in the Senate is quite lengthy. ... Look for whether the White House gives Judge Pickering a second recess appointment in anticipation of achieving his confirmation in 2005. And only time will tell whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will receive any new judges from Michigan in President Bush's second term.
When it comes to judicial nominations and confirmations, the next four years should continue to be quite interesting.