Tags: Barack Obama | Mitch McConnell | republicans | judicial | nomination

Mitch McConnell Cites Own Party for Unfilled Judgeships

Image: Mitch McConnell Cites Own Party for Unfilled Judgeships
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By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 11:16 AM

Many empty federal courtroom benches likely will remain unoccupied in the foreseeable future, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, because Republicans, with a stranglehold on the judicial nomination approval process, intend to continue to drag their feet in filling them.

Speaking on "The Hugh Hewitt Show," the Kentucky Republican said, “So far, the only judges we’ve confirmed have been federal district judges that have been signed off on by Republican senators."

Hewitt asked McConnell, "And do you expect that that will continue to be the case for the balance of this session?" McConnell replied, "I think that’s highly likely, yeah."

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Despite the administration's desire to fill vacancies in federal courts, the Huffington Post reported, "Senate Republicans have been slow-walking President Barack Obama's judicial nominees all year. It looks like things are about to get even less productive."

Up for the most immediate consideration are Luis Felipe Restrepo, nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, and Kara Stoll, nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, but the Huffington Post took McConnell's comment to imply that those nominations likely are "toast."

In this session, the Senate has confirmed just four judges, Roll Call notes, while in the Democrat-controlled 113th Congress Senate, when then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, invoked the "nuclear option" which sidestepped the 60-vote requirement for nominations, 132 federal judges were confirmed, or 44 percent of Obama's nominations.

Reid said, "It appears that Republicans are heeding calls from the far right to retaliate against the president over immigration by blocking circuit judges.

"Republicans couldn’t defund the Department of Homeland Security. They couldn’t block (Attorney General) Loretta Lynch’s confirmation. So now they want to block the president’s appeals court judges," Roll Call reported.

However, in April, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said, "The Senate Judiciary Committee is treating the president’s nominees extremely fairly. He has had dozens more nominees confirmed than President Bush did at this point in his presidency," Roll Call reported.

Reid said in a Senate speech, "Justice delayed is justice denied. That's really applicable to what's going on in the Senate today."

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He termed Republicans' "current trend of ignoring judicial nominees" to be "unconscionable" and added that Republicans are "scrambling for cover" because "they've been ignoring their constitutional duty.

"Republicans just simply want to do everything they can to create a problem for President Obama," Reid said.

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Many empty federal courtroom benches likely will remain unoccupied in the foreseeable future, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, because Republicans, with a stranglehold on the judicial nomination process, intend to continue to drag their feet.
Mitch McConnell, republicans, judicial, nomination
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2015-16-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 11:16 AM
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