Senator Richard Burr’s secret filibuster of U.S. District Court nominee Jennifer May-Parker for North Carolina’s Eastern District is not the only judicial obstructionism going on in the U.S. Senate. Republican senators have also been blockading President Obama’s nominees to the nation’s second most important court — the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — as well.
As Ian Millhiser explained in a post this morning at Think Progress entitled “Get Ready for the Filibuster Wars to Resume This Week in the Senate” the blockade is back on the front burner:
“Last July, Senate Democrats backed off their plan to invoke the so-called “nuclear option” and abolish the filibuster on executive branch nominees — but only after their Republican counterparts caved and agreed to fill seven key government jobs they previously held open with filibusters. Since then, the two parties have maintained an uneasy détente in the confirmation wars. A small group of Republicans supplied the exact minimum number of votes required to break a filibuster on Secretary of Labor Tom Perez’s nomination, for example, even though many Republicans bitterly object to the steps Perez took to fight housing discrimination and to protect the right to vote.
That détente is likely to break down as soon as this week, however. A Senate Democratic leadership source confirms to ThinkProgress that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to call for a vote on three nominees to the second most powerful court in the country, with the first vote likely to come this week. This court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is currently a bastion of conservatism. Its conservative judges struck down crucial environmental regulations that would prevent literally tens of thousands of deaths. They issued an opinion that at one point threatened to shut down all of American labor law. And two of its judges even joined an opinion claiming that all business, workplace or Wall Street regulation is constitutionally suspect. For most of the Obama presidency, the D.C. Circuit’s been a place where progressive regulation goes to die — and Senate Republicans want to keep it that way….”
Read the entire post by clicking here.