Plus   Neg

Senate Confirms First Judicial Nominee In Two Months


Senate Republican leaders still refuse to consider President Barack Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, but they did allow the confirmation of the first judicial nominee in two months on Monday.

The Senate voted 92 to 0 in favor of the nomination of Waverly Crenshaw Jr. to be U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Crenshaw was nominated to fill an emergency vacancy on the district court in February of 2015 and was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last October.

However, his nomination languished in the Senate for months even though he had the support of both of Tennessee's Republican Senators.

Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., noted that Senate Republicans have allowed just 17 judicial nominees to be confirmed since taking over the majority last year.

The number compares to the 68 judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate Democratic majority in the final two years of President George W. Bush's administration.

"The American people expect Senators to do their jobs," Leahy said. "This is true with judicial nominations to the lower courts, but it is even more crucial for the Supreme Court of the United States because no one can fill in for the vacant seat on our highest court."

"In just the last few weeks, the Supreme Court has deadlocked twice so it was unable to serve its highest constitutional function," he added. "Refusing to consider Chief Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court is not only unfair to him, it is irresponsible and a threat to a functioning democracy."

Leahy noted 19 more judicial nominees are awaiting Senate action on the floor and dozens more are pending in the Judiciary Committee.

However, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who has steadfastly refused to hold hearings on Garland's nomination, took a broader view of the Senate's record of confirming Obama's judicial nominees.

Grassley pointed out that Crenshaw is Obama's 324th judicial nominee confirmed since he took office in 2009, just two shy of the 326 confirmed during Bush's entire presidency.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Political News

Follow RTT