Bench Memos

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Progress Report on Judges --- NOT


In unusually and even painfully blunt language, Senator Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) today called out Reid, Leahy & Co. on judges. Unfortunately, the tone was amply justified.

Here is the bulk of McConnell’s challenge to the Senate’s Democratic leadership:

At the beginning of this Congress, the Majority said it would meet or exceed the average of 17 circuit court nominees that have been confirmed in prior Congresses; yet it has only confirmed eight circuit court judges thus far.  More disturbing, the Chairman of the Committee recently threatened to shut down the confirmation process completely, an action that would break yet another historical precedent.  

The Majority said it would treat Republican senate delegations fairly; yet for months, the Democratic Majority has only worked on circuit court nominees from states with a Democratic senator. 

The Majority said it would do its ‘utmost,’ said it would do ‘everything’ possible, said it would do ‘everything within its power’ to confirm three more circuit court nominees by the Memorial Day recess; yet it only confirmed one nominee.  Moreover, it appears the Majority did not seriously attempt to honor its commitment.  Indeed, since that deadline passed almost two weeks ago, the Democratic Majority has still failed to confirm more circuit court nominees.

The Democratic Majority has refused to honor its commitments.  It apparently believes that commitments do not matter in the United States Senate, and that actions do not have consequences. 


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