Senate Republicans believe that no more judicial nominees should be confirmed for the balance of the year until the elections, citing something called the Thurmond rule, which sets an arbitrary deadline for election-year confirmations. So the withheld enough votes to deny 60-vote confirmation of a judge so conservative he was acceptable to Oklahoma’s Senators.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday July 31, 2012 6:45 am|
|By: David Dayen Thursday June 14, 2012 11:08 am|
One of the few areas of progress in recent months has been the confirmation of judges by the Senate. Under a deal in the spring, 17 judges got confirmed, stretched out over a period of several weeks. And when that deal expired, a few more judges trickled in with confirmations. In all, 20 judges have been confirmed in the last two months, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer; and just on Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Andrew Hurwitz to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, getting cloture on the nomination with a super-majority of exactly 60 votes. There are still an undue number of vacancies on the federal bench – and part of that can be chalked up to the Administration not nominating enough judges – but the situation was improving somewhat.