Leahy Blames GOP for Blocking Judicial Nominees

Posted September 17, 2009 at 12:41pm

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) blasted Republicans Thursday for preventing the Senate from considering a handful of judicial nominees.

“We should not have to overcome filibusters and spend months to agree on these nominations,— Leahy lamented. “I cannot remember a time when we’re this late in the year and even though nominations have been made, nobody’s been confirmed all because of holds by the Republicans.—

Leahy’s comments on the floor came as the chamber was considering the nomination of Gerard Lynch for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Judiciary Committee approved his nomination this summer.

Americans “don’t want cases delayed because we have vacancies in the federal court that we could easily be filling,— Leahy warned.

More than two dozen executive and federal judicial nominations are currently pending on the Senate calendar, including Dawn Johnsen, the controversial nominee to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

David Hamilton, nominated to fill a vacancy in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Andre Davis, nominated to the 4th Circuit; Beverly Baldwin Martin, nominated to the 11th Circuit; and Jeffrey Viken, a district judge nominee from South Dakota, were all approved by the Judiciary Committee and have been lingering on the executive calendar since June.