The White House and Senate Republican leaders abandoned their brief flirtation with a bipartisan approach to judicial nominations this week, rebuffing efforts by Michigan Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow to reach a compromise on nominations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, abandoning a longstanding tradition of the Senate previously upheld by both parties, overrode the objections of both of the nominees’ home-state senators and forced a judiciary committee vote on the nomination of Henry Saad to the 6th Circuit. The nomination advanced on a party-line vote. Yesterday, Hatch scheduled a confirmation hearing on two other 6th Circuit nominees, David McKeague and Richard Griffin, despite the continued objections of both home-state Senators. That hearing also contradicted previous Committee policy that only non-controversial nominees should be considered this late in an election year, and that no more than one controversial nominee should be considered at a single hearing.