Deal Struck on Judicial Nominations

In a last-minute deal, struck days before the Democrats’ Senate majority is greatly reduced in the new Congress, Republicans will allow at least 19 of President Obama’s non-controversial judicial nominees to be confirmed. In exchange, Democrats promised not to seek a vote on four others who have raised the ire of conservative interest groups. Over the past several days, the Senate has quietly confirmed 10 judges as result of the pact between Senators Reid and McConnell. Spokesmen for both senators declined to comment on the arrangement. Among the four jettisoned judges is Goodwin Liu, a law school dean considered a likely future Supreme Court nominee. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), noted that only 49 of Obama’s circuit and district court nominations have been confirmed so far, "less than half the number confirmed during the first Congress of the Bush administration.”