Wow, this article blames the slow pace of judicial confirmations on Obama. Except for a couple of nominations currently waiting for a vote, it ignores the way the Republicans have been blocking many of Obama's appointees to government agencies and to courts.
May 18, 2011
In addition to his two Supreme Court picks, the Senate has confirmed 18 of Obama’s appeals court nominees. That compares with 23 of George W. Bush’s appeals court nominees confirmed at the same point in his first term as president.
“There’s been a definite improvement; it was somewhat slow start for the administration in focusing on judicial nominations. That’s clearly attributable to the very heavy legislative load they had in the first couple of years,” said Caroline Frederickson, the head of the American Constitution Society, a progressive advocacy group.
Republican senators – some of whom fought hard against Democratic filibusters of Bush’s judicial nominees six years ago – will decide whether to block a vote on Liu.
Two weeks ago, the Senate by a vote of 63 to 33 decided to end debate and move to the confirmation of John McConnell, an Obama nominee for a lower federal court vacancy in Rhode Island, despite vehement opposition from business groups.
The 11 Republican senators who voted to end a filibuster of McConnell may be a clue to the vote Thursday on Liu. “I was hoping it reflected the fact that they had reverted to the principles they stated during the Bush administration: that nominees deserve up or down votes, and that ‘elections have consequences’ and that ‘advise and consent’ is not ‘advise and obstruct.’ We’ll have to see whether or not that will be true with the vote on Goodwin (Liu),” said Frederickson, a Liu ally.
Liu formerly served on the American Constitution Society board.
Worth watching Thursday will be four GOP senators who signed a bipartisan accord in 2005 to not use filibusters to block votes on judicial nominees except in undefined “extraordinary circumstances.” The four are: Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of Maine.
In one way this battle resembles the Miguel Estrada filibuster battle of 2003-2004. Estrada was a brilliant young lawyer whom Democrat blocked after Bush tried to put him on the appeals court for the District of Columbia circuit. Some saw Estrada as a Supreme Court justice in the making.