by Countable | 10.11.18
Senators cast their final votes in advance of the midterm elections on Thursday by confirming 15 federal judges and several executive branch nominees. The flurry of confirmations allows a number of senators in tight re-election battles to put their work in the Capitol behind them and hit the campaign trail.
The chamber’s leaders, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), struck a deal to allow votes on the confirmation of roughly the number of judges that could’ve been confirmed between now and Election Day had the Senate remained in session and Democrats used the procedural roadblocks available to them.
Faced with Republicans keeping the Senate in session for another week or two to process additional nominations, Schumer and Democrats opted to take a deal that’d allow senators in close re-election contests to go home and campaign. One such lawmaker, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), missed Thursday’s votes to campaign while others like Sens. Mike Donnelly (D-IN), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) would’ve faced similar decisions had the Senate remained in session.
Of the 15 judges confirmed Thursday, three were to circuit courts while the remaining 12 were to district courts. Will one of the judges be coming to a courthouse near you? Here’s the list:
(If you’re wondering who the two absent senators aside from Heitkamp were, Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) were in their home state to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence ― more on that here.)
You can see the other nominees who were confirmed today at our latest This Week in Congress post.
Tell your senators whether you support these nominations and what you want to see addressed when they return after the election, then share your thoughts below!
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / sharrocks)
Written by Countable
I am a Democrat and I am embarrassed that Schumer agreed to this. It is absurd to have an all out war about a SCOTUS appointment and then 2 weeks later just blow through other judicial appointments so they can go home and campaign. CAMPAIGN? For the job you just abdicated in order to go home and try to get re-elected? Am I the only one who sees the flaw in this logic?
We had all kinds of problems in Obama's last term trying to seat a judge...yet, here we are with a mid-term elections looming---all of the sudden Republicans become motivated to work? Interesting. I will do everything in my power to make sure friends, family & neighbors get to the polls to VOTE YOU OUT!!!
Amazing! I am shocked that the typical democrat followers of countable would rather their representatives stay in DC rather than campaign to try and keep their jobs. Typically, they failed to read the posting. The agreement was to confirm only the number of judges that would have been confirmed, had the democrats used all of their stall tactics allowed. The same people would have been confirmed regardless. It just would have taken the full session to do it, preventing them from campaigning. That’s ok though, most of the democrats won’t be returning anyway.
So, the Senators avoided doing their jobs properly and made a "deal" that probably will hurt us (rubber-stamping conservative federal judges), so they could campaign for re-election and continue to do this sort of thing after re-election. Rinse and repeat. Is there anything more illustrative of the fact that it's impossible to have faith that any incumbent senator will do their job (represent citizens and their concerns)? Why should we re-elect someone who makes deals to do a shoddy job against our own interests?