by Nicole Flatow
With the election year underway and 103 current and future vacancies plaguing the federal courts, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is making headway in an aggressive push to force votes on long-pending judicial nominees.
On Wednesday, he successfully pushed through the nomination of Adalberto Jose Jordán to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, even as Sen. Rand Paul forced the 30 hours of debate to elapse before the final vote to confirm Jordán 94-5.
And on Thursday night, Reid was successful in securing confirmation of another nominee, Jesse Furman, to the Southern District of New York. Reid filed a motion to invoke cloture on his nomination Wednesday, but the Senate opted not to vote on the cloture motion, and to simply hold an up-or-down vote.
Both Jordán and Furman are consensus nominees -- both were approved by the Judiciary Committee with absolutely no opposition, and both have been ripe for an immediate vote since before the Senate left for the winter recess.
They are just two examples of the many highly qualified consensus nominees who have been pending for months on the Senate calendar.