Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Parties Wrangle Over D.C. Circuit Nominee

Democrats are preparing for a Republican filibuster of D.C. Circuit nominee Patricia Millett tomorrow and threaten to use the "nuclear option" when it happens, according to the NYT and BLT.

Millett's nomination comes before the full Senate tomorrow, and there's indication that Republicans could filibuster.  If so, Senator Leahy is quoted in the NYT, "I think that the pressure on changing the [cloture] rules would be almost insurmountable."  Democrats will have 55 votes in the Senate tomorrow, after Cory Booker, newly elected Democrat of New Jersey, is seated.  That means that they need to pick up five Republicans to close debate.

Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee joined the fray, holding a hearing yesterday titled, "Are More Judges Always the Answer?"  The thrust of the hearing--and one of the Republicans' argument against Millett's appointment: the D.C. Circuit doesn't do enough work to justify filling the seat.  (There are currently three vacancies on the court.)

Republicans also argue that President Obama is trying to "stack" the court with judges who will be friendly to his regulatory agenda.  (The court is now evenly split between judges appointed by Republican presidents and judges appointed by Democats.)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/conlaw/2013/10/parties-wrangle-over-dc-circuit-nominee.html

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