After meeting with Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) announced that he will reverse course and support her nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. "Judge Shwartz satisfactorily answered questions covering important legal topics such as current law on the rights of corporations under the First Amendment, constitutional limits on Executive Branch power and the application of heightened standards of review under the Constitution," he said in a statement. Menendez had previously opposed her nomination and had not yet submitted the blue slip required to move the process forward.
Following a swearing-in ceremony for now-U.S. District Judge Robert D. Mariani, Middle District of Pennsylvania Chief Judge Yvette Kane called on her U.S. senators to fill several vacancies in the district as soon as possible, The Scranton Times Tribune reports. The state has six vacancies – but no nominees – because Sens. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) have not sent recommendations to President Obama. Casey said they are “working on it,” but worried that the Senate would not confirm any nominees, now that election season is under way.
Regarding President Obama’s four recent recess appointments, the Justice Department released a memo in which it advised that they are constitutional. In his press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney further supported the legality of the appointments, saying, “We believe our legal argument is very strong, will absolutely pass muster.” In retaliation for the appointments, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is threatening to halt pending nominations for Senate confirmation, Bloomberg News reports.
The Latest in “In the News”
- “U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez right to meet with blocked judge,” from The Star Ledger
- “Obama Nominees Cool Heels as Divided Senate Stalls on Confirmation Votes,” from Bloomberg News
- “Senate Republicans consider blocking future presidential nominations,” from Daily Kos
The Latest in “Recommended Readings”
- “Appointments Challenge Senate Role, Experts Say,” from The New York Times
- “President Obama’s Judicial Nominees: A Question of Qualifications,” from The Dallas Morning News
- “Senator should drop block of judicial nominee,” from The Washington Post