On Divided Vote, Senate Confirms Judicial Nominee

The Senate voted 62-34 on Friday to confirm federal prosecutor Jesse Furman (photo) for a judgeship in the Southern District of New York. He was the second judge to be confirmed by the Senate this week, a Reuters article said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been stepping up efforts to advance obstructed judicial nominees to up-or-down floor votes, according the American Constitution Society blog.

This week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was critical in a press briefing of Republican filibusters of judicial nominees. Regarding Reid’s efforts to cut off the filibuster of Judge Adalberto Jose Jordan, an appeals court nominee, Carney said:

“To overcome the filibuster, Leader Reid had to file cloture, a procedure that while once extraordinary is now commonplace out of necessity.  … Leader Reid had to go through extraordinary measures to get a judge confirmed with no Republican opposition, and a seat he will fill is a judicial emergency seat.

“Now, the reason why I raise this, even though Mr. Jordan will be confirmed, is that it is so indicative of a breakdown in the system when a nominee as highly qualified as he is, with bipartisan support as he has, who’s reported out of committee unanimously, still faces filibusters.  And you have to ask yourself why that is.  It’s just simply delay tactics, and they’re shameful.”

Furman clerked for Supreme Court Justice David Souter. He clerked for Michael Mukasey when Mukasey was a judge, and Furman worked as counselor to Mukasey when the latter served as U.S. attorney general under President George W. Bush; Mukasey wrote a letter of strong support on Furman’s behalf.


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