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The Senate Brought to a Standstill over Judges

Unfortunately, the judicial emergency continues.

While the Federal bench languishes with too few judges thanks to the Senate sitting on its hands, the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell decided yesterday to protest the Majority’s failure to honor promises to bring President Bush’s judicial nominees forward for an up or down vote. He did this by opposing a routine request to dispense with the reading of the Boxer substitute to the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Bill. By objecting, the clerk was required to read the entire text of the amendment.

The amendment was 491 pages long.

In a press release, McConnell stated:

“At the beginning of this Congress, the Majority said it would meet or exceed the average of 17 circuit court nominees that have been confirmed in prior Congresses; yet it has only confirmed eight circuit court judges thus far. More disturbing, the Chairman of the Committee recently threatened to shut down the confirmation process completely, an action that would break yet another historical precedent.

“The Majority said it would treat Republican Senate delegations fairly; yet for months, the Democratic Majority has only worked on circuit court nominees from states with a Democratic senator.

“The Majority said it would do its ‘utmost,’ said it would do ‘everything’ possible, said it would do ‘everything within its power’ to confirm three more circuit court nominees by the Memorial Day recess; yet it only confirmed one nominee. Moreover, it appears the Majority did not seriously attempt to honor its commitment. Indeed, since that deadline passed almost two weeks ago, the Democratic Majority has still failed to confirm more circuit court nominees.”