UPDATE: This alert is no longer active. Paul Watford was confirmed by a vote of 61-34. All Senate Democrats voted for confirmation, as did Republican Senators Lamar Alexander, Scott Brown, Susan Collins, Lindsay Graham, Dick Lugar, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Olympia Snowe.
Some Republicans have spoken out strongly against Watford. For example, Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he opposes Watford because he served as co-counsel on a case and on an amicus brief challenging Arizona's controversial immigration law. Grassley and others had even gone so far as to begin a filibuster.
Of course, it's not the first time Republicans have seized upon flimsy excuses to mount last-ditch opposition against well-qualified nominees.
The opposition to those was almost certainly designed merely to drag out the process and make the president look bad. And now the same thing is happening to Paul Watford.
And while that partisan game plays out on the Senate floor, our federal courts remain critically understaffed.
On issues ranging from employment discrimination to health care, federal courts play an increasingly important role in the lives of hardworking Americans. But with caseloads soaring and the nominations process bogged down in partisan bickering, too many Americans are being forced to wait too long for their day in court.
Tell your senators to confirm Paul Watford to the Ninth Circuit, where new judges are badly needed.
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