Gavel Grab

Confrontation Erupts Over Judicial Nominations

Confirmation Hearings For Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor ContinueSen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are sparring over the pace of judicial confirmations, reported Politico. The confrontation unfolded on Thursday after Grassley blocked the confirmation of three judicial nominees that, according to The Hill, Schumer wanted confirmed.

The New York Democrat complained about the judicial vacancy rate in the U.S. that is at 10%, and the 28 districts that are in a state of “judicial emergency,” mentions Politico. He also called it a “disgrace” that the new Republican-led Senate has only confirmed five federal judges so far, comparing that pace to the confirmation rate of the Democratic-led Senate under President George W. Bush, which at the same point in President Bush’s second term had confirmed 25 judges.

Grassley shot back that the statistics are misleading, arguing that “we’d be roughly at the same pace we were for judicial confirmations this year compared to 2007,″ if 11 judicial confirmations that took place during last year’s lame duck session had been scheduled for this year instead.

GOP leaders will not hold scheduled votes on judicial nominees until at least September, he said.

Meanwhile, President Obama has nominated four Pennsylvania judges to fill federal bench vacancies, reported Legal Intelligencer.

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