Friday, June 10, 2005

Senate Confirms 3 Appellate Judges

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed 3 judicial nominees, William Pryor, Richard Griffin, and David McKeague. Pryor will serve on the Eleventh Circuit court of Appeals, where he serves currently due to a recess appointment last year by President Bush. Griffin and McKeague will serve on the Sixth Circuit, which has several vacancies because Michigan's 2 Democrat senators, Levin and Stabenow, have blocked votes on all nominees for at least 3 years. President Bush gave a statement, in which he praised the Senate for giving these 3 long-suffering nominees an up-or-down vote.

The votes on Griffin and McKeague were unanimous. If no senator voted to oppose their nominations, what good reason did the Michigan senators have for blocking votes on all Sixth Circuit nominees? Personal pique is not a good reason.

All 3 nominations had been delayed by the Democrats before the compromise deal reached by the group of 14 senators, which was composed of 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans. It is early, but there is at least some basis now for hope that the compromise will enable the Senate to have up-or-down votes on President Bush's nominees to the appellate bench. The real tests are yet to come when the nominations of Brett Kavanaugh for the District of Columbia Circuit, William Haynes for the Fourth Circuit, and whoever Bush nominates when a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court.

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