Senate Approves Agee

Posted May 20, 2008 at 2:39pm

Attempting to avoid a stampede on Republican judicial nominations, the Senate voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to confirm G. Steven Agee to the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

Yet a deal that was made between Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still hinges on Democrats, as Reid agreed to send to the Senate floor three judicial nominees before the Memorial Day recess.

With the Agee confirmation, Democrats still have two nominations left to move before Friday: Helene White and Raymond Kethledge to the 6th Circuit.

Republicans have increasingly rung the alarm against Senate Democrats over the president’s judicial nominations, trying to advance nominees before lawmakers leave town on Friday.

GOPers would like the Senate to confirm 15 nominations this session, roughly the same number of judicial confirmations approved during the final year of President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Democrats contend that this is not payback for stalling many of Clinton’s judicial nominees. Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) contended that when Republicans were in control of the Senate they blocked many nominations put forth by the former president for political reasons.

Leahy mocked the GOP, comparing their tactics to “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

“I was reading Goldilocks to one of my grandchildren the other night. Goldilocks is a child’s story. And they shouldn’t play childish games here,” Leahy said.

“My friends on the Republican side hope, by ignoring their own history of pocket filibustering more than 60 of President Clinton’s judicial nominations while they were in the majority, that somehow they could rewrite history,” Leahy added.

“Democrats, to their credit, have not retaliated.”