What a remarkable coincidence.In a law review article dated Jan. 24, 2004, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, wrote about "Our Broken Judicial Confirmation Process" and said this:"Wasteful and unnecessary delay in the process of selecting judges hurts our justice system and harms all Americans. It is intolerable no matter who occupies the White House and no matter which party is the majority party in the Senate. Unnecessary delay has for too long plagued the Senate's judicial confirmation process." (www.committeeforjustice.org/pdf/cornyn.pdf)Last week, also on Jan. 24, President Barack Obama included this request in his State of the Union address:"Some of what's broken has to do with the way Congress does its business these days. ... Neither party has been blameless in these tactics. Now both parties should put an end to it. For starters, I ask the Senate to pass a rule that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or down vote within 90 days." (tinyurl.com/sotutext)Gentlemen, we have agreement.Now, may we please have cooperation to get the job done?Year after year, whoever is president spars with opposition-party senators over confirmation of judges. In their skirmishing, they send completely uncontroversial nominees reeling, as they languish for months, not knowing when or even whether they'll be transitioning to new employment.During George W. Bush's presidency, Democrats vehemently opposed a small number of appointees, blocking votes in the full Senate with filibusters. A handful of nominees never made it to the bench. It took four years for then-Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen to get confirmed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which handles federal appeals from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.At that time, Cornyn argued for a new way of doing business; argued against filibusters; argued that every nominee deserves an up-or-down vote; and that it shouldn't take approval of 60 senators to get one.He hasn't been so consistent or magnanimous during the Obama years, though. Neither have some other Republicans, who have blocked any vote on two appellate court nominees (one of whom withdrew from consideration) and contributed to inexplicable delays on prospective judges who've had the backing of their home-state GOP senators.The latest addition to the 5th Circuit, former assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Higginson, was nominated in May but not confirmed until late October — on an 88-0 vote. An additional 18 nominees approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2011 still are waiting for floor votes; the full Senate just never got to them before the end of the year.The Alliance for Justice, a liberal-leaning advocacy group, has a helpful online chart showing that 70 percent of Obama's judicial nominees had been confirmed by Jan. 25 of his fourth year in office, compared to 77 percent for Bush and 82 percent for President Bill Clinton. (tinyurl.com/ctvacancies)Unnecessary delays only add to backlogs. There are 83 federal judicial vacancies, 32 of them on courts where the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has declared "judicial emergencies" because of the caseloads. (tinyurl.com/usctslist)In his 2004 article in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Cornyn said the judicial confirmation process continues to malfunction because, "Instead of fixing the problem, we nurse old grudges, debate mind-numbing statistics and argue about who hurt whom first, the most, and when. It is time to end the blame game, fix the problem, and move on."Sounds like exactly what Obama would say.Gentlemen, please get moving on the solution.