Leahy Applauds Move To Bring Long-Pending Judicial Nominations To A Vote

WASHINGTON (Monday, March 12, 2012) – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday applauded a move by leadership to force votes on 17 judicial nominations awaiting final approval by the Senate.  At the opening of Monday’s session of the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed procedural motions on district court nominations currently pending before the full Senate, some reported by the Judiciary Committee as long ago as October 2011.

“Needless, unexplained delays have stalled Senate action on judicial nominations since the start of the Obama administration,” Leahy said Monday.  “Even consensus district court nominations – long acted on by the Senate promptly and by consent – meet with obstruction and delay.  I regret that Leader Reid has been forced to take this action today.  But the millions of Americans seeking justice in their courts should no longer be stalled by judicial vacancies that would otherwise be filled if only the Senate would fulfill its constitutional role.”

A total of 22 judicial nominations are pending on the Senate’s executive calendar, including 16 nominations reported with unanimous or near-unanimous support by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Half of the nominations pending on the Senate Floor would fill judicial emergencies.  Reid filed cloture on the 17 district court nominations pending on the calendar; another five circuit nominations are also pending.

President Obama’s district court nominations have waited on average more than four times longer – over 90 days – to receive up-or-down votes in the Senate after being reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee.  In contrast, President George W. Bush’s district nominees waited just over 20 days for a final vote after being reported by the Committee.

A dozen nominations, including 10 district court nominations, have been pending on the Senate’s Executive Calendar since 2011.  Senate Republicans have refused to consent to time agreements to schedule votes on the nominations, prompting Reid to file cloture on the district court nominations.

“I urge Senate Republicans not to give way to political temptation by continuing to obstruct these district court nominations,” said Leahy.  “Senators should debate, and then vote, on these non-controversial nominations, and not needlessly delay them any longer.”

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Nominations Pending On The Senate Calendar


Gina M. Groh (ND WV)

Reported on October 6, 2011

David Nuffer (D UT)

Reported on October 13, 2011

Stephanie D. Thacker (4th Circuit)

Reported on November 3, 2011

Michael W. Fitzgerald (CD CA)

Reported on November 3, 2011

Ronnie Abrams (SD NY)

Reported on November 3, 2011

Rudolph Contreras (D DC)

Reported on November 3, 2011

Miranda Du (D NV)

Reported on November 3, 2011

Susie Morgan (ED LA)

Reported on November 10, 2011

Jacqueline H. Nguyen (9th Circuit)

Reported on December 1, 2011

Gregg J. Costa (SD TX)

Reported on December 1, 2011

David C. Guaderrama (WD TX)

Reported on December 1, 2011

Brian C. Wimes (ED/WD MO)

Reported on December 15, 2011

Paul J. Watford (9th Circuit)

Reported on February 2, 2012

John Z. Lee (ND IL)

Reported on February 16, 2012

John J. Tharp (ND IL)

Reported on February 16, 2012

George L. Russell, III (D MD)

Reported on February 16, 2012

Kristine G. Baker (ED AR)

Reported on February 16, 2012

Andrew D. Hurwitz (9th Circuit)

Reported on March 1, 2012

Patty Shwartz (3rd Circuit)

Reported on March 8, 2012

Jeffrey J. Helmick (ND OH)

Reported on March 8, 2012

Mary G. Lewis (D SC)

Reported on March 8, 2012

Timothy S. Hillman (D MA)

Reported on March 8, 2012

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