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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Next Week: More (Slow) Movement on Judicial Nominations

When the Senate returns from recess on April 16, one of its first scheduled votes will be on the nomination of Stephanie Thacker to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The vote on Thacker is part of the March 14 agreement reached by Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to allow the Senate vote on the confirmations of 14 judicial nominees by May 7.

Thacker will mark the eighth vote of this agreement, and will be only the second circuit court nominee to receive a vote in the Senate this year.

On April 19, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider five judicial nominees at its Executive Business Meeting. All five were held over at the committee’s last meeting on March 29 by request of the Republican members, a delaying tactic that has been used to slow walk all but one of President Obama’s judicial nominees in this Congress. Perpetually slowing down the confirmation process in committee is one of several ways in which Senate Republicans are working to prevent President Obama from filling judicial vacancies in the midst of a crisis that has left 1 in 9 seats on the bench empty.

The committee will hold hearings on nominations to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board next week, and therefore will not be holding hearings on additional pending judicial nominees.

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