Citing “record levels— of judicial vacancies, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) turned up the heat Wednesday for the confirmation of nearly two dozen executive branch nominees before the end of the year.
“We have had to waste weeks seeking time agreements in order to consider nominations that were then confirmed unanimously,— Leahy said in a statement.
“I hope that instead of withholding consent and threatening filibusters of President [Barack] Obama’s judicial nominees, Senate Republicans will treat the nominees of President Obama fairly,— Leahy added.
Leahy is pushing for the Senate to confirm nine judicial nominees that have been pending for weeks and even months. The chamber has confirmed a total of 10 nominees appointed to lifetime judicial terms this year.
The Senate last considered a judicial nominee on Nov. 19, when David Hamilton was confirmed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
With health care reform consuming the Senate and a handful of other legislative priorities requiring consideration before the end of the year, it is unclear when Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) might fit in time for nominations.
“As we generally do, before we leave we’ll try to confirm several,— spokeswoman Regan Lachapelle said.