Filibuster

Diversifying the Federal Bench

GOP obstruction means having a federal judiciary that looks less like America.
PFAW

Judicial Obstruction - Not Just a "Little Disagreement" Over Scheduling

Sen. Lamar Alexander has gravely mischaracterized his party's three-year massive resistance to processing judicial nominations.
PFAW

Exponential Escalation of Judicial Obstruction

For the last three years, Republicans have completely transformed what was once the low-key, bipartisan act of filling district court vacancies.
PFAW

GOP Seeks to Distract from their Judicial Obstruction

The GOP tries to link their 3 years of obstruction to a protest against President Obama's January recess appointments.
PFAW

Harsh Light of Exposure Makes Senate GOP Crumble

Earlier this week, Senate Republicans were harshly criticized for filibustering a highly qualified Cuban American with no committee opposition nominated for a seat on the Eleventh Circuit. Yesterday, they doubled down and set their sights on an unopposed district court nominee, Jesse Furman of New York. As we noted yesterday, the absurdity of the move cannot be overstated. The Senate GOP wasn’t just moving the goalposts, they were moving the entire football field.

It appears that the barrage of deserved criticism they received for this outrageous escalation in their war against the American judiciary has had an effect: It was just announced that the cloture petition will be vitiated (i.e., withdrawn). More than five months after Furman was approved without opposition by the Senate Judiciary Committee, he will finally get his day on the Senate floor. In turn, assuming he is confirmed, more New Yorkers will get their day in court.

This is a victory for every American who wants to protect our nation’s judicial system.

PFAW

Yet Another Filibuster: GOP Ignores Goalposts, Moves Entire Football Field

Senate Republicans – already being condemned for their unprecedented obstruction of highly qualified judicial nominees with strong bipartisan support – today responded to that criticism by escalating their partisan obstruction to even more extremes. Today, after finally overcoming the four-month obstruction of an unopposed circuit court nominee, Senate Democrats were forced to file cloture on the nomination of an unopposed district court nominee, one who worked for and has the support of Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey: Jesse Furman, nominated to the Southern District of New York.

It would be hard to overstate just how absurd this is. When George W. Bush was president, Democrats routinely approved District Court nominees, frequently without even a recorded vote.

Adding to the absurdity of the filibuster, Republicans have given no reason to vote against Furman's confirmation. He is a respected lawyer who has devoted his legal career to public service, serving under both Democratic and Republican administrations. After law school, he clerked for Justice David Souter, Judge Michael Mukasey (a Reagan nominee to the Southern District of New York) and José A. Cabranes (a Clinton nomine to the Second Circuit). He worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York during the George W. Bush Administration. For two years during that time, he was detailed to work as Counselor to Mukasey, who had by then become Attorney General under President Bush. In 2009, he returned to the Southern District of New York to become Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office.

One might think Mukasey's strong support for the nomination would give Republicans reason not to filibuster. He wrote this of Furman: "All I can hope to add is my own belief that he is a person to whom one can entrust decisions that are consequential to the lives of people and to the general welfare of the populace, with confidence that they will be made wisely and fairly ... and I urge that he be confirmed."

Mukasey is not alone. The ABA has analyzed his record and found him qualified. A unanimous Judiciary Committee agreed.

There are currently six judicial vacancies in the Southern District of New York. Furman's nomination to fill one of those vacancies has been pending on the Senate floor for five months now.

This latest filibuster is an outrage. Republicans haven't just moved the goal posts. They've moved the entire stadium. The American people deserve so much better than this.

PFAW

Senate Flouts Corporate Lobbyists, Breaks Filibuster of Nominee

Today, in a 63-33 vote, the Senate broke a filibuster of the nomination of John McConnell to serve as a district court judge in Rhode Island. The attempted obstruction of a district court nominee was a top priority for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent enormous lobbying resources on sinking McConnell’s nomination. The Chamber objected to McConnell’s work as a public interest lawyer in Rhode Island, where he took on lead paint manufacturers and tobacco companies on behalf of consumers.

Hamilton Becomes Just Seventh Obama Nominee Confirmed to Federal Bench

In response to the successful confirmation of Judge David Hamilton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker said, "After months of concerted foot-dragging by Senate Republican leaders, Judge David Hamilton was finally confirmed."

Sessions' 'Extraordinary' Filibuster Falls Short Judge David Hamilton Advances

In response to the successful cloture vote on the nomination of Judge David Hamilton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker said, "After months of waiting, the path has finally been cleared for President Obama’s first judicial nominee Judge David Hamilton to join the Seventh Circuit."

Republicans Threaten to Block Obama's Judges

In a letter released yesterday, all 41 Senate Republicans threatened to filibuster President Obama's judicial nominees unless they were given veto power over judges from their states. "The Republicans are doing everything in their power to cement their reputation as the 'Party of No,'" said PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert. "Voters gave President Obama a mandate to appoint judges who understand that the Constitution and the laws provide for equal justice for all. Now, before a single nomination has been announced, Republicans are threatening to block every single one of Obama's nominees. That's chutzpah."
Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious