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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Upcoming Votes On Long-Delayed Nominees

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced late last night that the Senate will vote on six judicial nominations on Monday, October 3. 

District Court nominees Nanette Jolivette Brown (Eastern District of Louisiana), Nancy Torresen (District of Maine), William Francis Kuntz, II (Eastern District of New York), Marina Garcia Marmolejo (Southern District of Texas), and Jennifer Guerin Zipps (District of Arizona) are scheduled to be confirmed by unanimous consent. 

A roll call vote will be held to vote on the confirmation of Henry Floyd to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  The seats that Floyd, Kuntz, Marmolejo, and Zipps will fill if confirmed have all been deemed judicial emergencies by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

Senator Reid also secured unanimous consent to vote on four additional district court nominees at a time to be determined by the majority leader, after consultation with the Republican leader, sometime after October 11: Jane Margaret Triche-Milazzo (Eastern District of Louisiana), Alison Nathan (Southern District of New York), Susan Owens Hickey (Western District of Arkansas), and Katherine Forrest (Southern District of New York).

All of these nominees were sent to the Senate floor by the Senate Judiciary Committee with little to no opposition; eight were reported out on voice votes and two by strong, bipartisan roll call votes (Nathan, 14-4; Hickey, 15-3). Nonetheless, Republican stall tactics to keep President Obama’s nominees off the bench have dragged out the process of filling these empty judicial seats. 

The average time from nomination to confirmation for the six nominees to be considered on October 3 will be 238 days; Marina Marmolejo, whose seat is a judicial emergency, will have waited 433 days to be confirmed to take her place on the federal bench.

For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on judicial nominations, visit the Judicial Selection Project webpage.

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