Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who follows the federal courts, sends word that Republican obstructionism has blocked a group of non-controversial federal judge nominees, including two from Arkansas.
A news release from Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said:
“Republicans are once again—for the fifth year in a row—rejecting the longstanding Senate practice of scheduling confirmation votes on consensus nominees before the end of the session,” Leahy said. “The result is that we will spend a significant portion of the next year on the Senate floor doing work that should have been completed this year.”
A total of 55 judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee and on the floor will be returned to the White House because of Republican delay tactics, Leahy said, including recent obstruction of the Committee even meeting to consider nominees.
Leahy noted that the Senate confirmed on Friday Brian Davis to a district court seat in Florida. Davis’s nomination lagged for 660 days. Judge Robert Wilkins, a nominee to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, will be considered early next year.
“As we approach the new year, I hope that reasonable Republicans will join us in restoring the Senate’s ability to fulfill its constitutional duties and do its work for the American people,” he said.
Nine judicial nominations had cleared the committee and were on the Senate calendar for confirmation. The nine include two Arkansas nominees — Timothy Brooks of Fayetteville for a western district judgeship and Circuit Judge Jay Moody of Little Rock for a vacancy on the eastern district bench in Little Rock. Both Arkansas nominations are endorsed by both Sens. Mark Pryor and Republican John Boozman of Arkansas. Brooks was cleared by committee Oct. 31 and Moody Nov. 14.