The Senate confirmed Catharina Haynes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit yesterday, along with several district court nominees. Haynes is the first appellate nominee confirmed by the Senate in 2008, and only the seventh during the 110th Congress. This marks a completely unprecedented slowdown in judicial confirmations.
Tempers have already flared over this issue, and it’s likely to get worse unless Senate Democrats ease up on their obstruction. CQ reports Senate Republicans may block important legislation, such as Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy’s patent reform bill, until more judicial nominations move.