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Nominations Battle Could Resume in Lame Duck

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Democrats indicate they want to confirm more circuit court nominees in the lame duck, but the GOP notes that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid previously said they had finished with them for the year.

There are two circuit court judges and two district court judges who are prime candidates to see action and who have received vigorous support from Republicans.

Oklahoma Republican Sens. James M. Inhofe and Tom Coburn have been urging a vote on Bacharach, whose nomination was filibustered in late July by Republicans citing a long-standing practice in which the minority blocks judicial nominations in the final six months of a presidential election cycle.

Bacharach’s confirmation was filibustered, 56-34. Sixty votes are needed to overcome a filibuster and cut off debate.

Similarly, Maine Republican Sens. Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins have been pushing for a vote on William Kayatta Jr. for the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is why they defied their leadership and joined Democrats in voting to move forward with Bacharach.

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., has been agitating for confirmation of Matthew W. Brann and Malachy E. Mannion, who were nominated by Obama to be a judges for the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania in May.

He wrote a letter to Reid and McConnell in September calling for a vote on their nominations in the lame duck.

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