Grassley Floor Statement on the Nomination of Robert E. Bacharach To be United States Circuit Judge Rather than confirm what would have been the 155th judge, the majority will instead engage in a political activity. Make no mistake.That is what this is, pure and simple.And it is really unfortunate.
PoliticalNews.me - Aug 01,2012 - Grassley Floor Statement on the Nomination of Robert E. Bacharach To be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit
For the last few weeks, it has been routine practice in the Senate that we vote on consensus district court nominees on Monday evenings. We have done so quite a number of times this Congress. And we could have done so again. Instead, the majority leader has decided to pursue another course. Rather than confirm what would have been the 155th judge, the majority will instead engage in a political activity. Make no mistake. That is what this is, pure and simple. And it is really unfortunate.
It is well-known that the practice and tradition of the Senate is to stop confirming circuit nominees in the closing months of a presidential election year. That is what we have done during the last number of presidential election years.
You have to go back 20 years to find a presidential election year when the Senate approved a circuit court judge this late. Of course, the rationale has been that this close to an election, whoever wins that election should be the one to pick these lifetime nominees who will run our judiciary system.
Now, it is true that there were some votes in relation to circuit nominations in July during the last two election years. The only problem, of course, is that those were cloture votes on outstanding nominees the Democrats were filibustering.
For example, in July 2004, cloture votes were held on four outstanding circuit nominees the Democrats were filibustering. Those included Miguel Estrada, nominated to the DC Circuit; Richard Griffin, nominated to the Sixth Circuit; David McKeague, nominated to the Sixth Circuit; and Henry Saad, also nominated to the Sixth Circuit.
I would note that at the time, the Sixth Circuit alone had a 25 percent vacancy rate. And every one of those vacancies was designated as a “judicial emergency.” That, of course, didn’t matter to the other side. Despite the fact that the Sixth Circuit was in dire straits, the other side filibustered every one of those nominees.
I don’t recall too much concern from my friends on the other side of the aisle about the need to confirm those judges, even considering the fact they were judicial emergencies. And now, when our side seeks to enforce the rule the other side helped create and perfect, all we hear are complaints.
Mr. President, if ever there was an example of “crocodile tears,” this is it.
In 2008, the other side was at it again. Once again, they closed-up shop on circuit nominations in June. This time, it was the Fourth Circuit that was in dire straits. Despite the fact that the Fourth Circuit had a 25 percent vacancy rate, the Democrats refused to even process four outstanding consensus nominees.
Those nominees included Judge Robert Conrad, even though he had already been confirmed unanimously as a U.S. Attorney and also as a district court judge. Democrats refused to