Monday, by a 92-1 vote, the Senate confirmed Judge Brian Wimes to the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri.
Wimes, a state circuit court judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit Court of Jackson, Missouri, is a graduate of the University of Kansas and of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. His background includes service as Drug Court Commissioner for the 16th Judicial Circuit, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, and Attorney Advisor in the Litigation Branch for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Nominated to the bench by President Obama on September 22, 2011, Wimes had his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on November 14 and was reported out of committee on December 15 on a voice vote with only Senator Lee opposing him. Despite his overwhelming bipartisan support at all stages of the process, it took this consensus nominee 131 days to receive a vote on the Senate floor.
Speaking before the vote, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) noted that four months into the calendar year, the Senate is still voting on nominees who came out of Committee in 2011. Leahy asserted, “We have yet to get to any of the nominees we should be considering this year because of Republican objections to proceeding more promptly.”
With 1 in 9 vacancies on the federal bench, the Senate should be taking action to confirm nominees expeditiously rather than dragging out the process in partisan gamesmanship.
For the most comprehensive, up-to-date information on judicial nominations, visit the Judicial Selection Project website.