After months of partisan bickering Senate leaders finally reached an agreement to break the logjam over federal judicial nominees.
The result means that 12 federal district court judge picks and two circuit court nominees will get confirmation votes before the summer. The agreement came just hours before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had planned to being a series of procedural votes that would have forced confirmation votes through the Senate floor, even if it would take weeks to accomplish.
The agreement requires the Senate act on two judicial nominees per week before May 7.
It’s a good start, but will not go far enough to address the crisis facing the federal judiciary as a result of judicial vacancies.
There are a total of 22 judicial nominees awaiting action on the Senate floor. That means that eight of the judges, including five district nominees and three appellate nominees still won’t get a vote.
Those judges who will get confirmation votes are Stephanie Thacker in the 4th Circuit and Jacqueline Nguyen in the 9th Circuit. The 12 district court judges include Gina Marie Groh of the Northern District of West Virginia; David Nuffer of Utah; Michael Walter Fitzgerald of the Central District of California; Ronnie Abrams of the Southern District of New York; Rudolph Contreras of the District of Columbia; Miranda Du of Nevada; Susie Morgan of the Eastern District of Louisiana; Gregg Costa of the Southern District of Texas; David Guaderrama of the Western District of Texas; Brian Wimes of the Western District of Missouri; Kristine Baker of the Eastern District of Arkansas; and John Lee of the Northern District of Illinois.
The circuit judicial nominees who did not make the deal include Andrew Hurwitz of the 9th Circuit; Paul Watford, also of the 9th Circuit; and Patty Shwartz of the 3rd Circuit. The district court nominees who didn’t make the list included John Tharp of the Northern District of Illinois; George Russell III of Maryland; Mary Lewis of South Carolina; Jeffrey Helmick from the Northern District of Ohio; and Timothy Hillman of Massachusetts.
Photo from dctim1 via flickr.