Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is absent, but a number of Republican senators have joined forces with their Democratic counterparts to support a number of President Joe Biden’s nominations for lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary in her absence.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee discharged seven nominees from President Joe Biden on April 20 as at least one Republican joined all remaining Democrats on the panel,” reported The Epoch Times on Friday.
According to the news source, Republican senators assisted Orelia Merchant, Jeffrey Cummings, and LaShonda Hunt in advancing their nominations for U.S. District Court judgeships in the Eastern District of New York and Northern District of Illinois, respectively.
According to the report, other nominees for U.S. District Court judgeships in the District of New Jersey, including Michael Farbiarz and Robert Kirsch, as well as Monica Almadani and Wesley Hsu, who were nominated for positions in the Central District of California, received similar support from Republican senators to move forward in the nomination process.
The Judiciary Committee, which consists of eleven Democratic senators headed by Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), is one of the committees where the Democrats currently hold a majority because they control the Senate. Republicans now have ten members, but Feinstein has asked to be provisionally substituted because she has been battling shingles since February. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the ranking Republican member, thwarted her attempt.
Nonetheless, he has joined forces with other Republicans on the committee to support Democrats in their efforts to advance a number of Biden’s candidates.
“Our agenda includes a number of judicial nominees who have been sitting on the agenda for some time. Some have bipartisan support. There’s nothing to prevent us from calling and voting on these nominees today even in Sen. Feinstein’s absence,” Durbin told reporters as he prepared to hold the first nomination votes in weeks. “I understand we now have agreement to vote on several of them. I’ve spoken to Sen. Graham.”
Graham added, “Today, I’m going to do my part, and my colleagues will vote the way they think is best, to keep the committee moving forward.”
The Judiciary committee will investigate President Biden’s nominees. CNN reports that Feinstein cast a proxy vote for each nominee, but committee rules stipulate that a proxy vote can only be cast if it is not the deciding vote. Without Republican support, however, the Senate cannot vote on the nominations.
Only Graham, the only Republican, supported three of the candidates. Several other Republicans, including Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), supported alternative candidates, according to the Epoch Times.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) recently stated on the Senate floor that nominees “who are mainstream and qualified” would earn bipartisan support. But he added that Feinstein’s absence would mean “that Democrats aren’t able to push through a small fraction of their nominees who are so extreme and so unqualified that they cannot win a single Republican vote in committee.”
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
To that purpose, Durbin delayed voting on some of Biden’s more extreme picks, such as Kato Crews. He also couldn’t remember what a crucial court case meant.
During his confirmation hearing, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) questioned him. Crews admitted that he had forgotten what a Brady motion was. CONTINUE READING...