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No More USCA Confirmations Until Election?

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No federal circuit judge has been confirmed this close to an election in 20 years, and yesterday Republicans blocked an attempt to confirm one, reports Todd Ruger at BLT.

"This is not about the individual who has been nominated," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor in a debate. McConnell instead called the block part of a Senate tradition for "a bipartisan timeout" before the Nov. 6 presidential election.
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The White House decried the block of Bacharach and said nearly one in eleven federal judgeships stands empty, and the judicial vacancy rate has never been this high for this long. "The American people deserve better than this unprecedented partisan obstruction of the President's efforts to ensure a fair and functioning judiciary," White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said in the statement.
The "unprecedented" claim is, of course, nonsense.  Each time the Republicans take the White House, the Democrats raise obstruction to a new level.  It was the Democrats who invented "borking."  It was the Democrats who made confirmation filibusters routine.  (Before the Democrats began filibustering, the Republicans had filibustered a grand total of one judicial nomination in all of American history -- LBJ's ethically challenged CJ nominee who subsequently resigned from the Supreme Court in disgrace.)  When the Democrats get the White House back, the Republicans respond at the same level, at that is where we are today.

Should the Senate stop confirming circuit judge nominees at this point in the election cycle?  That's debatable.  There is no debate that it has, though, no matter who is controlling the Senate or who has the White House.  The "unprecedented" remark is just one more falsehood in the steady stream.

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