Obstruction

More Dissembling from Chuck Grassley

Sen. Grassley again offers a blizzard of misleading statistics to hide his party's obstruction of President Obama's judicial nominees.
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Grassley's Non-Response on Judicial Nominations

Chuck Grassley issues a misleading response to complaints about his obstruction of resident Obama's judicial nominees.
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GOP Bad Faith on the Pace of Confirmations

Since a bipartisan agreement on judges ended in May, the rate of confirmations that Republicans have consented to has plummeted.
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Florida Federal Judge: We Need More Judges!

One of the district's vacancies could have been filled many months ago, if only Republicans would stop their blanket obstruction.
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Lame Duck - Time to Confirm All the Pending Nominees

Don't believe the latest Republican spin to justify their obstruction of judicial nominations even during the lame duck session.
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Demise of Another GOP Talking Point on Judicial Nominations

The GOP claim that confirmation times for Obama's judicial nominees should be compared to Bush's second term falls apart.
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Judicial Obstruction in Graphic Form

Even for judicial nominees with no opposition, Republican opposition is setting records.
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More Court Vacancies, More GOP Obstruction

Republicans are blocking judicial nominees in Illinois and California, even though new vacancies in those states were announced just this morning.
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Sen. Confirmed 10 Judges One Day After Committee Vote in Sept 2008

In the last presidential election year, the Senate confirmed 10 judges in September, just a day after committee approval. Why not this year?
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Leahy Urges Confirmation Votes for Judges

Republicans should allow the Senate to vote on all of the 17 pending district court nominations.
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A Diversity Milestone for Federal Judges

President Obama had as many women judges confirmed as Bush did in 8 years, but Republicans are preventing votes that would further diversify our courts.
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On Obstructing Judges, Senate Republicans Get Even Worse

Republicans are seeking the first ever successful filibuster of a circuit court nominee who was approved in committee with bipartisan support.
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Filibuster of 10th Circuit Nominee Would Be Unprecedented

On Monday, the Senate will hold a cloture vote to end the filibuster of Robert Bacharach to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. This filibuster is just the latest example of the destructive obstruction of judicial nominees that Republicans have engaged in from the very start of the Obama presidency.

In fact, if this filibuster succeeds, it will be the first time there has ever been a successful filibuster of a circuit court nominee who was approved in committee with bipartisan support.

Bacharach, who hails from Oklahoma, is extraordinarily well qualified to be a circuit court judge. The ABA panel that evaluates judicial nominees unanimously gave him their highest possible rating, "well qualified." He has been a magistrate judge in the Western District of Oklahoma for over a decade, giving him substantial experience with the criminal and civil legal issues he would face as a circuit court judge.

Much of Oklahoma's legal establishment has publicly supported his nomination: the Chief Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma; the Oklahoma Bar Association; the Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Law; the General Counsel at Oklahoma City University; the Dean Emeritus at Oklahoma City University School of Law; the President of the Oklahoma County Bar Association; fellow members of the Federal Bar Association; and attorneys who worked closely with him while he was in private practice.

Bacharach also has strong bipartisan support. He has the support of President Obama and both of Oklahoma's Republican senators. In addition, he was approved by the Judiciary Committee nearly unanimously, with only Sen. Lee voting no (for reasons unrelated to the nominee). Sen. Coburn has said it would be "stupid" for his party to block a floor vote on Bacharach.

Last month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that his party would refuse to consent to any further confirmation votes for circuit court nominees, purportedly because it is an election year. He cited the so-called "Thurmond Rule," which he mischaracterized as a practice of not allowing any judicial confirmation votes as we approach a presidential election. In reality, it is not a "rule" at all. Instead, it is the name for the general principle that the party not in the White House will sometimes slow confirmation of controversial judicial nominees at some point in the months leading up to a presidential election. It has nothing to do with consensus nominees like Bacharach.

In fact, as noted above, a successful filibuster of Bacharach would be the first time there has ever been a successful filibuster of a circuit court nominee who was approved in committee with bipartisan support. That is hardly consistent with Senate history or practice.

But it would be consistent with Republican efforts to obstruct President Obama's judicial nominees regardless of their qualifications, regardless of their strong bipartisan support, and regardless of the damage the obstruction inflicts on the American people. After years of calling filibusters of President Bush's judicial nominees unconstitutional, Senate Republicans turned around and filibustered President Obama's very first judicial nominee (David Hamilton, to the Seventh Circuit). This year, most of the circuit court nominees who have been confirmed have required a cloture vote to break Republican filibusters.

Republican efforts to filibuster Robert Bacharach are completely unjustified, but are also no surprise.

 

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Hurwitz Finally Confirmed By Voice Vote

Senate Republicans agree to a voice vote to confirm a nominee who they claimed was not qualified to be a federal judge.
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