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Local federal judge nominees await confirmation

WBFO File Photo

In recent years, presidential nominations of federal judges have become tangled in the politics of Washington. Locally, there are two federal court nominations stalled in process, Lawrence Vilardo and Denise O'Donnell.

Added to budget pressures which blocked creation of new judgeships and cut staff, the courts are bogging down with hundreds of thousands of civil cases stalled. 

"It stresses and stretches further the people who are already working in the system," said Interim UB Law School Dean Jim Gardner.

"It constrains the ability of the system to process cases. it makes it more difficult to take on new cases. It makes everybody wait longer for the outcomes of the cases that they are involved in."

Both New York Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, say there are likely to be some confirmations and a district judges was confirmed on Monday. Schumer says he doesn't expect any appeals court judges to be confirmed although some district judges may be.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.