Today, after three months of slow-walking votes on judicial nominations, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to move forward on 14 judicial nominations. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took the dramatic step of filing cloture petitions on 17 district court nominees. Instead of requiring filibuster votes on these 17 nominations, Senate leadership agreed to schedule yes-or-no votes on 12 district court nominations and 2 circuit court nominations by early May.
It is astonishing that such serious parliamentary maneuvers were required to confirm well-qualified nominees who had received significant bipartisan support, many of whom had been waiting for months. Moreover, although this agreement moves the confirmation process forward on 14 nominees, it leaves out 8 others and does not cover any nominees who will be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee between now and May. The Senate’s work to provide the American public with fully-functioning federal courts is far from done.