Heller Bests Reid in Judicial Nomination Fight
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has apparently won his dispute with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., over the nomination of Elissa Cadish to be a U.S. District Court judge in Nevada.
Cadish withdrew her name from consideration Thursday after Heller continued to refuse to sign off on her.
“My nomination has been pending for and awaiting consideration by the Senate for more than a year now,” Cadish said in a letter to Reid, who supported her nomination. “It appears I have reached an impasse, as Sen. Heller has declined to sign a blue slip as required by the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing regarding my nomination.”
“Accordingly, it is with regret that I write to inform you that I have requested that President Obama withdraw my nomination to this position at this time,” she wrote.
Heller has expressed concerns over Cadish’s stand on gun rights. He recently said that he was continuing to work on the nomination with Reid.
Asked if he expected the nomination to be withdrawn given his objections, the junior senator from Nevada said, “I am not changing my position.”
Cadish was first nominated in February 2012, but the Judiciary Committee did not take up the nomination because Heller did not return her blue slip. She was subsequently re-nominated in January.
After meeting with Cadish in April, he released a statement regarding his concern.
“I respect Judge Cadish and believe she has had many great accomplishments in her career,” Heller said. “However, I cannot support her nomination as a federal judge. I believe an individual citizen has the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and cannot in good conscience support a nominee whose commitment to the Constitution’s Second Amendment is in doubt.”
He received praise from the National Rifle Association after he released the statement.
“NRA applauds Sen. Heller for his strong and principled opposition to Judge Cadish’s nomination based on her lack of support for our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms,” the group said on its Institute for Legislative Action blog.
Blue slips are given to home-state senators for judicial nominees, and the home-state senator is expected to give the Judiciary Committee chairman his or her thoughts on the particular nominee. A committee practice has been not to take up a nomination unless both blue slips are returned, particularly under committee chairman Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt.
The Cadish nomination has been just one of several sore points between the two senators. Though they were on good terms when Heller was in the House, last year’s bruising election between Heller and Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley strained relations between the duo.