Bench Memos

Reid Surrenders on Cloture Votes

As the National Journal reports, Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell have reached some sort of deal, so there will be no vote on Reid’s 17 cloture petitions.

As for the substance of the deal, a Senate Republican staffer tells me: “Looks like we are just going back to regular order. Reid capitulated.” Another senior Republican staffer passes on that under the gentlemen’s agreement, we can expect to see what would have been expected had the cloture petitions never been filed: Senate action on a couple of these nominees every week or so.

McConnell deserves praise for his excellent leadership in having Republicans stand strong against Reid’s unprecedented and unwarranted maneuver.

Update: This AP report provides some additional detail:

Under the deal, the Senate would vote on a total of 14 noncontroversial nominees by May 7, a dozen of them to U.S. District Court seats and a pair to the U.S. Circuit Court.…

Under the deal, the Senate would consider two or three nominees a week before May 7. The nominees would fill District Court seats in West Virginia, Utah, California, New York, Virginia, Nevada, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois. The others would fill vacancies on the 4th Circuit, which covers the Mid-Atlantic region and the 9th Circuit, which covers the West.

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