July 31, 2012

GOP Holds Together to Block Nominee

Republicans successfully blocked the nomination of Robert E. Bacharach to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals during a vote of 56-34 to overcome a filibuster. However, the nomination received three Republican votes: Senators Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Olympia Snowe (Maine). Additionally, Senators James Inhofe (Okla.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), and Orrin Hatch (Utah) all voted "present." Minority Leader McConnell recently explained the basis for the blocked nomination in the context of the Leahy-Thurmond Rule:
"'This practice, known as the Leahy-Thurmond Rule, is a custom they (Democrats) vigorously defended when there was a Republican in the White House... 
"He (McConnell) cited efforts by Republicans in 2004 and 2008 when Democrats invoked the rule to stave off GOP nominations. 
"'In the name of Senate custom and practice — by which I mean the Leahy-Thurmond Rule — they pocket-filibustered several outstanding circuit court nominees in committee.'"