WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts says he wants Senate Republicans and Democrats to quickly fill the 94 vacancies in the federal judiciary.
Roberts released his annual State of the Judiciary report Friday and said there is an "urgent" need for Senate Democrats and Republicans to put aside partisan bickering, The Washington Post reported.
Roberts noted presidents from both parties have been frustrated by the "persistent problem" of senators from the opposing party blocking action on judicial nominees.
"Each political party has found it easy to turn on a dime from decrying to defending the blocking of judicial nominations, depending on their changing political fortunes," Roberts wrote in his 16-paragraph report. "This has created acute difficulties for some judicial districts."
The Senate recently approved half of President Obama's pending nominees.
"There remains, however, an urgent need for the political branches to find a long-term solution to this recurring problem," Roberts wrote.
Roberts made clear he is not voicing support for any of Obama's nominees.
"We do not comment on the merits of individual nominees," he wrote.
Roberts, noting the economic crisis facing the nation, didn't push for Congress to increase federal judges' salaries.
He said federal courts account for "less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the federal budget," and said he expects the Supreme Court's fiscal 2012 appropriations request will be less than its 2011 request.
"Not many other federal government entities can say that," Roberts wrote.