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Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Most Important Judicial Nominee You Never Heard Of Is On Ice

I previously posted about John "Jack" McConnell, Jr., a major Democratic Party campaign donor who had been nominated by Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to an open seat on the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island.

McConnell was a controversial nominee not only because he donated several hundred thousand dollars to Democrats, but also because he received a mediocre rating from the American Bar Association and questions had been raised about his handling of a mass tort lead paint suit in Rhode Island.

I wondered, Will Obama Really Fight For This Judicial Nominee?

Apparently not, according to The Providence Journal:

John J. McConnell Jr.’s nomination to the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island has been returned to the White House for resubmission by President Obama — a
time-consuming setback that underlines the strong Republican opposition to seating the prominent trial lawyer and Democratic campaign donor on the federal bench....

As it cleared the decks for its summer recess Thursday night, the Senate accepted without dissent a bipartisan deal to confirm more than 50 of Mr. Obama’s nominations, including 4 judgeships (besides his second Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan).

Senators also agreed unanimously to let more than 40 pending judicial nominations remain on the calendar for full Senate action after the recess ends in September. That was a routine waiver of a rule that says nominations that have not been voted before a major recess must be dropped from the calendar and returned to the president.

Excluded from that deal were the nominations of McConnell and four other judicial prospects who have attracted GOP opposition.

Don't think District Court nominations are important or worth fighting over?

Then you haven't been paying attention.

Related Posts:
How Much Does A Federal Judgeship Cost? $432,000
The Most Important Judicial Nomination You Never Heard Of Set For Vote Today

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  1. I agree 100%, District Court nominations are worth fighting for!

  2. This is exactly why repubs have such a hard time attracting support for elections. Could you imagine if the situation were reversed, there was a Repub Administration with a 100 nominees in the hopper and the dems were in the minority and were expected to go into the majority in one or both chambers. Does anyone think that minority chair Leahy would give a free pass to NINETY repubs to go to hearings or be voted on before the upcoming election, especially if the President was barely clinging to 40 percent approval? NoT ON YOUR LIFE would the dems agree to a similar deal. District Court nominations matter greatly. Loading them with Judge Vaughn wannabes, as Obama is doing, will damage this country for a generation. That repubs can't or won't see this insidiousness or somehow think the dems will apply the golden rule when the tables are turned, is naive to the point of self destruction.

  3. Along this same line, I think the 17th Amendment is harmful in much the same way. If senators were still voted on by the state legislatures, people would be paying a heck of a lot more attention to the state-level elections, I figure.

    The U.S. Congress, POTUS, and SCOTUS make all the big news - lower races make big news very rarely. The regulatory bodies that actually flesh out all of the legal frameworks enacted by Congress make big news even less frequently. Very much not good.

    showbiz111, I agree completely. GOP needs to stop letting these things sail off into the sunset. However, lefties are so very good at the whiny, mournful PR plays--especially with the sympathetic press--that I don't know how effective resistance would be.

    Unless each citizen starts *thinking rationally*... I really don't know how this is going to work.