This afternoon, the Senate confirmed Cathy Ann Bencivengo to a seat on the Southern District of California by a vote of 90-6. Judge Bencivengo, who had been rated Unanimously Well-Qualified by the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, was approved without opposition by the Senate Judiciary Committee back in October. Despite the fact that the seat to which she had been nominated had been designated a judicial emergency, Judge Bencivengo’s nomination languished for four months.
Fortunately, Senator Mike Lee of Utah did not unilaterally block a vote on Judge Bencivengo’s nomination, as he maintained he would do in protest of President Obama’s recess appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board, although he did vote against her confirmation. It’s a sad day when just having a confirmation vote, only the Senate’s second in 2012, is grounds for celebration.