Gavel Grab

Filibuster Abandoned, Nominee Confirmed for Ninth Circuit

Senate Republican leaders dropped plans for a filibuster of the nomination of Los Angeles lawyer Paul Watford to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and he was confirmed on a Senate vote of 61-34.

Nine Republicans joined Senate Democrats in voting to confirm Watford, a former federal prosecutor. He will become the second African American sitting on the court, the nation’s busiest.

Watford had gained bipartisan support from an array of individuals including conservative UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, and Jeremy rosen, former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Federalist Society, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.

On the eve of the Senate vote, law professor Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond wrote a commentary distributed by McClatchy entitled “Time to Fill Ninth Circuit Vacancies.”

The three judicial vacancies at the time of Tobias’ writing all had been declared judicial emergencies, and they “undermine justice in the Ninth Circuit,” Tobias wrote.

Meanwhile President Obama has nominated two individuals to serve as federal district judges for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The two openings were declared judicial emergencies, according to a Blog of Legal Times post.

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