Skip to comments.Senate confirms first Obama's ‘post-nuclear’ nominee in 56-38 vote
Posted on 12/10/2013 8:57:39 AM PST by markomalley
The Senate voted 56-38 Tuesday to confirm Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court, making her the first nominee of President Obamas to clear the Senate since Democrats unilaterally changed the rules in a vote last month. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted with Democrats.
The rule change means only 51 votes are needed to end a filibuster on nominations below the level of the Supreme Court.
The move outraged Republicans, who said Democrats had severely undermined minority rights in the upper chamber. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered the nuclear option to make the change. It allows the Senates rules to be changed by a majority vote. This was a pure power grab, plain and simple, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said ahead of the vote Tuesday. If the majority party cant be expected to follow the rules, then there are no rules.
Republicans have warned that in response, they would seek to use other rules to slow the Senates procedure to a crawl.
"Im pleased that in a bipartisan vote, the Senate has confirmed Patricia Millett to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, filling a vacancy that has been open since 2005," President Obama said in a statement. "Ms. Millett is a leading appellate lawyer who has made 32 arguments before the Supreme Court, the second-most by a female advocate. She has served in the Department of Justice for both Democratic and Republican Presidents. Im confident she will serve with distinction on the federal bench."
A second nominee is expected to be approved when the Senate considers Rep. Mel Watts (D-N.C.) nomination to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The Senate is expected to vote to end debate on Watts nomination later Tuesday. After up to eight hours of debate, the Senate will proceed to his confirmation vote.
The D.C. Circuit is often considered the second most powerful bench in the country because it has jurisdiction over most federal agencies.
The nominations of Millett and two other judges to the court set off the fight between Senate Republicans and Democrats.
Republicans warned that Democrats would regret the irrevocable change once they are in the minority.
Washington Democrats changed our democracy irrevocable, McConnell said. And to what end, to pack the courts.
Exactly the question to be asked, researched and disseminated. What — exactly — are Republicans doing in response? More feigned outrage? More playing to the galleries? More posing for holy pictures, or are they honestly doing something?
I have my strong suspicions.
Mel Watt ???
Didn’t he get ousted from the House for pedophilia?
Obama is for nuclear disarmament except in Iran and the US Senate.
Yeah, isn’t he the Chicago pol that was imprisoned?
If they control the courts then they control everything. The name of the game is infiltration.
And thank you, Karl Rove.
They can do as much about the illegitimate RINO as they can do about election fraud.
She has served in the Department of Justice for both Democratic and Republican Presidents.
Must mean Bushes as well as Clintoon and Obama. Hardly a kind of approval. The Bushes were hardly paragons of Constitutionality.
Smurfkowski voted with the Dms.
This makes my blood boil!
Even FDR could not pack the court!!!
Republicans should boycott all of these confirmation votes. The Senate repubs, like the House, have been deemed irrelevant.
I would like to think that maybe enough people will be motivated to actually vote in numbers large enough to overcome fraud and evil.
They should walk out and deny a quorum.
The destruction of individual liberty continues. Protection of the minority? Not under the Democratic party, the party of slavery, segregation, the welfare state and infanticide.
That decision had been due to come down soon. My suspicion is that Obama wanted to pack the court in order to change the outcome.
Nah, McConnell retreats into his shell whenever the going gets rough.