Senators spent little time during the past two years focusing on lower-court nominees for the federal judiciary. But as they convened today for the start of the 112th Congress, Senate Democrats have the issue on their minds.

The long-standing delays in confirming judges are helping to animate proposals to change how the Senate does business. Senators are not expected to vote on any proposals today, but they are expected to weigh them over the next few weeks and possibly act on them Jan. 24.

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