President Barack Obama on Wednesday renominated more than three dozen individuals for executive branch and federal judicial posts who did not receive confirmation votes in the 111th Congress.
The list includes four judicial picks that have been strongly opposed by Senate Republicans. Goodwin Liu of California was first nominated to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in February, and district court nominees Louis Butler of Wisconsin, Edward Chen of California and John McConnell of Rhode Island were originally nominated in September 2009, August 2009 and March, respectively.
Obama’s move suggests that the nomination battles that characterized the 111th Congress could continue over the next two years, and at least one Republican Senator declared his opposition to certain nominees.
“Every President re-submits nominees whom the Senate could not previously consider,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) said in a statement Wednesday. “But President Obama has also chosen to re-submit his most extreme judicial nominees whose activist approach would control rather than follow the Constitution. I will vigorously oppose such activist judicial nominees and will actively engage in the debate over the kind of judges America needs on the federal bench.”
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy said in a statement that he hopes to work with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the new ranking member on the committee, to quickly move the renominations through their panel.
“I hope to work with the Judiciary Committee’s new ranking Republican, Sen. Grassley, to promptly consider and report these nominations to the full Senate,” the Vermont Democrat said. “I hope that Sen. Grassley will work with me to ensure the timely confirmation of these and other non-controversial, consensus nominations, which will help reduce vacancies and address the judicial crisis.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.