Last year, not a single Obama judicial nominee was confirmed while the Senate spent months on the vacancy created by Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s retirement. This year, Democrats say they are determined not to let the same thing happen because of Justice John Paul Stevens’ decision to step down.

At a news conference, Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said they plan to push for confirmation of more district and circuit judges over the next several weeks, and they said they have the agreement of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to force the issue.