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WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nominees slowed to a halt this election year, a common political occurrence. But more than 90 vacancies in the federal judiciary are taking a toll on judges, the courts and Americans seeking recourse.

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Obama has nominated replacements for more than half of those spots, including 44 nominees for the district court and seven for the appeals court. Yet the Senate has confirmed only nine district and appeals court judges this year.

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Senate Democrats are pushing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold confirmation votes in the lame-duck session between the Nov. 8 election and the end of the year. But McConnell has said repeatedly that Obama has already gotten more judges confirmed over his eight years in office than President George W. Bush did.

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