Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tom Cotton continues two-year blockade of judge confirmations

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 11:20 AM

click to enlarge SENATOR NO:  Tom Cotton's single-handed block aid of appointments to the federal court of claims.
  • SENATOR NO: Tom Cotton's single-handed block aid of appointments to the federal court of claims.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton continues to mount a one-man blockade to confirmation of judges to the depleted federal court of claims.

Thanks as ever to Glenn Sugameli of Judging the Environment, a judicial nominations project, for the update.

Tuesday, Cotton again blocked votes on five nominees twice approved unanimously by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee to a court with six vacancies. Cotton said he's not convinced the court needs more hands. Despite the two years of deliberation on these nominations and support from his own party, Cotton characterizes the process as a "rubber stamp" of presidential nominations.

With the Senate needing unanimous consent to move a vote, Cotton alone blocked it. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said in a statement:

... Senate Republicans' obstruction playbook leaves no court behind. It spans from the very top, with their complete refusal to give a hearing and a vote to Chief Judge Merrick Garland, to the article III circuit and district courts, to the article I Court of Federal Claims, where citizens go to sue their government. This blockade of all five CFC nominees makes no sense, especially because not a single Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee raised a concern about these nominees either during the committee hearings on these nominations 2 years ago or during the Committee debate 2 years ago or last year.
You could say Tom Cotton does not play well with others. It's more tempting to say that he's simply an arrogant expletive deleted.

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