Senate Republicans Continue To Block Judicial Nominees

Sen. Lamar Alexander. Photo c/o

Sen. Lamar Alexander. Photo c/o

With thirty two vacancies to the federal bench leaving the federal justice system clogged with too many trials and not enough judges, and old filibuster rules squashed in the fall, pundits predicted Senate Democrats would be able to push through their nominees in 2014.

But the Senate Republicans have not given consent to put any up for a vote.

As Huffington post comments,

“So what’s the problem? Republicans are refusing to give consent to let nominees get their votes. In a less partisan environment, both parties typically would give “unanimous consent” to let a batch of nominees receive votes, with little fanfare. But with Republicans still simmering over the Senate rules change, they’re using other tactics to prevent nominations from advancing.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said as much when he recently objected to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) requesting consent to let a bloc of nominees get a vote.

“The Democratic majority changed the rules of the Senate in a way that creates a Senate without rules,” Alexander said. “So until I understand better how a United States senator is supposed to operate in a Senate without rules, I object.”

Reid can still schedule votes for nominees without the consent of Republicans, but it would be extremely time-consuming, requiring a full day to pass before even beginning debate and then anywhere from two to 30 hours for each nominee, per Senate rules. With unanimous consent, a nominee can be voted on in minutes.”

More from Huffington Post here.

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