12.16.10

Senate Confirms Four Judicial Nominations; 34 Remain Pending

WASHINGTON – The Senate Thursday night confirmed four long-pending judicial nominations, each of which received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, “These confirmations are long overdue.  For months, these nominations have languished before the Senate, without explanation and for no reason.  Today, we confirm them unanimously.  These confirmations will help fill a few of the judicial vacancies around the country, which have reached historically high levels.  I hope these are the first of many confirmations by the Senate before we adjourn.”

The nominations were the first judicial confirmations since September 13, more than three months ago.  The Senate confirmed four district court nominations: Catherine Eagles to serve on the District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina; Kimberly Mueller to serve on the District Court for the Eastern District of California; John Gibney to serve on the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; and James Bredar to serve on the District Court for the District of Maryland.  Eagles and Mueller were reported by the Judiciary Committee on May 6.  Gibney was reported by the Committee on May 27.  Bredar was reported by the Committee on June 10.  Mueller’s confirmation is particularly welcome news for the Eastern District of California, which maintains the highest weighted caseload among all districts across the country.

There are 34 judicial nominations remaining on the Senate’s executive calendar, including eight circuit court nominations.  A majority of the nominations pending on the Senate’s calendar received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 19 of the nominations are to fill seats designated as judicial emergencies by the nonpartisan Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Leahy has been pressing for months for the Senate to consider pending nominations.  Judicial nominations reported by the Committee as long ago as January still await final consideration by the Senate.

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