Three of President Bush’s circuit court nominees will finally get an up-or-down vote in the U.S. Senate after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised to end the obstructionism that had stalled action on judicial confirmations.
Just last week the Senate voted for the first time in 2008 on five of Bush’s judicial nominees, including one circuit court judge. It was the latest date in an presidential election years since 1848 when James K. Polk was in the White House.
During colloquy between Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tonight, the two leaders reached a “good faith” agreement. Reid committed to votes on three circuit court nominees before the Memorial Day recess. McConnell said Reid’s promise would bring the total number of confirmations to 10 during this Congress, within reach of the historical average of 15 to 17.
In the past week, Reid felt increasing pressure to act — both internally from Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and from the liberal media. His promise is a good first step, but hardly adequate given the little time lawmakers will likely spend in Washington this summer and fall.