by Samantha Berkovits
The myth of the so-called “Thurmond Rule,” that confirmations of appeals court nominees should halt during election season, is interfering with efforts to fill the 76 federal judicial vacancies remaining around the nation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) invoked the “rule” to stop progress on pending federal appeals court nominees such as First Circuit nominee William Kayatta Jr., even though Maine’s two republican senators have called for a floor vote. Tenth Circuit nominee Robert Bacharach has been similarly held up, but his home-state senators have yet to speak out against the “Thurmond Rule” or call for a floor vote.
The Senate confirmed John T. Fowlkes Jr. to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Tennessee, and it will hold a confirmation vote July 16 on Kevin McNulty for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Three more district court nominees, Terrence G. Berg, for the Eastern District of Michigan; Jesus G. Bernal, for the Central District of California; and Lorna G. Schofield, for the Southern District of New York were reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
President Obama has nominated Mark A. Barnett to serve on the United States Court of International Trade. Barnett is Deputy Chief Counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel for Import Administration at the United States Department of Commerce.
The Latest from “In the News”
- “Filling Utah judgeship now deemed an ‘emergency’,”The Salt Lake Tribune
- “Federal judge nominee Troy Nunley works his way up,” San Francisco Chronicle
- “McConnell Signals He’d Retain Filibuster Rules as Majority Leader,” CQ Today
The Latest from “Recommended Readings”
- “Reject the ‘Thurmond Rule’,” Los Angeles Times
- “The Unfortunate Politicization of Judicial Confirmation Hearings,” The Atlantic
- “Clint Bolick: The Supreme Court Stakes in 2012,” The Wall Street Journal
- Sen. Leahy on Votes for Pending Nominees