Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 4, 2015

Obama, Senate Democrats Teeing Up Judicial Wars

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The debate over whether Senate Democrats should deploy the “nuclear” option and shut down filibusters to get their way on nominations is on track to take another step this week.

President Barack Obama could send over a full slate of nominees to fill vacant seats on what’s known as the nation’s second-highest court.

Democrats view the judicial positions as a key test in deciding whether to try to change the chamber’s nomination rules with a simple majority vote sometime this summer, a point that Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., made during a May 23 news conference with the Democratic leadership team.

He made similar comments at a little-noticed Democratic dinner in March, an indication that this game plan has been in the works for some time.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters that same day that he had discussed vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with Rob Nabors, the White House deputy chief of staff. Reid hinted that the names for the three seats that remain vacant after confirmation of Sri Srinivasan could be unveiled soon.

The New York Times advanced that story in Tuesday’s paper by identifying some potential nominees for the posts.

The Senate confirmed Srinivasan last week, 97-0. An Indian immigrant who grew up in Kansas before a distinguished legal career working for the government and in private practice, it’s no secret that Srinivasan is on the shortlist of Supreme Court contenders.

“We may be seeing him coming before the Senate — again soon,” Schumer said last week.

Confirming Srinivasan is the latest move in an ongoing nomination chess match.

Republicans contend that the other D.C. Circuit seats are not necessary because the court has a lighter workload than other federal appellate courts. Judiciary ranking member Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced a bill last month to eliminate one of the judges and move two others to other circuits.

“The caseload is one half of what the average is of all the others, and it’s lower than everyone except for one other circuit,” Grassley said, previewing the upcoming disagreement. “Every one of these [judgeships] costs more than $1 million.”

“The bill does not directly impact today’s nominee, but it will reallocate unneeded judgeships from the D.C. Circuit to other federal appellate courts where caseloads are many times higher than that of the D.C. Circuit,” Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said on the Senate floor. “Especially after we have confirmed Mr. Srinivasan, I hope members on both sides of the aisle will join me in ensuring that these unnecessary D.C. Circuit judgeships are reallocated to courts that need those judge slots.”

Asked by a reporter about Grassley’s proposal, Reid noted that one judgeship on the appeals court has already been eliminated. He also questioned the logic used by Republican senators.

“See, they look at number of cases, but the number of cases at the D.C. Circuit is somewhat misleading because their cases are extremely complex with rare exception,” Reid said.

Schumer contended that Republicans were seeking to stop confirmations to the D.C. court to try to keep ideological control of it.

“What we have here, whether it’s the judiciary … financial services, labor and the rest of the government. We have a small number of senators who believe that the more they can strangle government the better America is.

“Unfortunately, a handful of them say they don’t want to move forward and the Republican caucus moves in lock-step, and nowhere has this been worse than on the judiciary, particularly the D.C. Circuit, which controls so much of what the government does, and so they’re a lodestone of the hard right to make sure they control the D.C. Circuit,” Schumer said at the news conference.

The D.C. Circuit has proved a troublesome place for the Obama administration. Panels of judges from the court have invalidated the Environmental Protection Agency’s rulemaking on cross-state air pollution and, of interest to the Senate, declared that intrasession recess appointments should be null and void. Another federal appeals court reached a similar conclusion on May 16.

If the Supreme Court agrees, there would be far-reaching implications for the recess appointment power (as well as decisions by the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, since those agencies have recess appointees).

Still, Republicans cautioned the administration against going down the road of moving ahead with the D.C. court nominees.

“I certainly hope neither the White House nor my Democratic colleagues will instead decide to play politics and seek — without any legitimate justification — to pack the D.C. Circuit with unneeded judges simply in order to advance a partisan agenda,” Lee said.

Comments (59)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. citizenupset

    May 28, 2013
    1:04 p.m.

    So what’s the difference between Democrats using the nukes to get judges in versus the Republicans filibustering to keep the judges out.

  2. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    6:12 a.m.

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A number of my blog readers have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any tips to help fix this problem?

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  3. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    11:55 a.m.

    Great V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..

    http://produkterbaiksuamiisteri.tumblr.com/

  4. Anonymous

    July 6, 2015
    5:16 p.m.

    I’m just writing to let you be aware of of the remarkable discovery our child enjoyed viewing the blog. She came to understand numerous pieces, not to mention how it is like to possess an excellent giving style to have the mediocre ones easily thoroughly grasp specified problematic subject matter. You actually exceeded my expected results. Many thanks for displaying these valuable, trustworthy, edifying and easy tips on your topic to Jane.

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/homeowners-insurance.html

  5. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    5:17 p.m.

    Excellent website. Plenty of helpful info here. I¦m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you in your effort!

  6. Anonymous

    July 8, 2015
    12:14 a.m.

    Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last several posts have been kinda boringK I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

    http://www.katalehere.com/author/RomanKzEjES

  7. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    9:18 a.m.

    Thanks , I have recently been looking for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

    http://www.mb-kanagawa.net/userinfo.php?uid=599757

  8. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    12:59 p.m.

    Really instructive and fantastic body structure of content material, now that’s user genial (:.

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  9. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    1:54 p.m.

    Somebody essentially help to make seriously posts I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular publish incredible. Excellent job!

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  10. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    6:46 p.m.

    This design is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

    http://www.wat.tv/video/salon-massage-naturiste-massage-79q5z_79q5x_.html

  11. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    8 p.m.

    Some genuinely marvelous work on behalf of the owner of this site, perfectly outstanding content material.

    http://www.wat.tv/video/salon-massage-naturiste-massage-79q5z_79q5x_.html

  12. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    10:46 p.m.

    I like this website very much, Its a really nice post to read and find information.

    http://vimeo.com/126527913

  13. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    11:46 p.m.

    You made some nice points there. I did a search on the topic and found most individuals will agree with your site.

    http://vimeo.com/126527913

  14. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    5:31 a.m.

    Wow! Thank you! I constantly needed to write on my site something like that. Can I implement a fragment of your post to my site?

    https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/profiles/temple38india

  15. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    6:25 a.m.

    It?¦s actually a great and useful piece of info. I?¦m satisfied that you just shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    https://netplusadmdev0.internet2.edu/community/index.php?p=/profile/10818/nylon5lycra

  16. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    6:50 a.m.

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

    https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/profiles/vacuum61oven

  17. Google

    July 18, 2015
    3:38 p.m.

    Here are some hyperlinks to web-sites that we link to due to the fact we feel they may be worth visiting.

  18. Branded Plinths

    July 19, 2015
    1:07 p.m.

    Sites of interest we have a link to

  19. Full color led sign

    July 20, 2015
    1:16 a.m.

    please take a look at the web pages we follow, such as this one, as it represents our picks in the web

  20. hinesville ga

    July 20, 2015
    1:38 a.m.

    Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest web-sites that we select

  21. ZocDoc

    July 20, 2015
    1:02 p.m.

    Here are a few of the web pages we suggest for our visitors

  22. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    2:01 p.m.

  23. Watch Drishyam hindi full movie online in hd

    July 20, 2015
    5:45 p.m.

    just beneath, are various completely not associated web pages to ours, even so, they may be certainly worth going over

  24. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    7:07 p.m.

    I’ll immediately grab your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/amica-home-auto-mutual-insurance.html

  25. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    2:58 a.m.

    Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com/low-cost-car-insurance.html

  26. Maryland Daycare

    July 21, 2015
    8:47 a.m.

    Every once inside a even though we pick out blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the latest web pages that we opt for

  27. this link

    July 21, 2015
    10:28 a.m.

    The data mentioned inside the write-up are a number of the ideal available

  28. casement windows

    July 21, 2015
    3:21 p.m.

    here are some links to internet sites that we link to because we believe they may be really worth visiting

  29. docking station

    July 21, 2015
    4:50 p.m.

    Here is a superb Blog You may Come across Exciting that we Encourage You

  30. windows and door

    July 22, 2015
    12:59 a.m.

    one of our visitors a short while ago recommended the following website

  31. paintless dent repair training

    July 23, 2015
    5:25 a.m.

    we came across a cool website that you just may get pleasure from. Take a appear should you want

  32. pdr training

    July 23, 2015
    7:20 p.m.

    always a huge fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but do not get a great deal of link really like from

  33. debt collection agency

    July 24, 2015
    5:04 a.m.

    below you will locate the link to some web pages that we consider you ought to visit

  34. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    7:54 a.m.

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

    http://split.us

  35. Commodity tracking service

    July 24, 2015
    2:45 p.m.

    The information and facts talked about within the post are a number of the most effective accessible

  36. connecticut

    July 24, 2015
    3:07 p.m.

    Here are some of the internet sites we recommend for our visitors

  37. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:22 p.m.

    Good ?V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

    https://bestplumbers.com

  38. pop

    July 24, 2015
    11:21 p.m.

    Here is a great Weblog You may Discover Interesting that we Encourage You

  39. can you make someone fall in love with you again

    July 25, 2015
    3:23 a.m.

    one of our visitors recently proposed the following website

  40. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    6:57 a.m.

  41. PrePaid India Calling Card

    July 25, 2015
    10:06 a.m.

    The data mentioned within the article are several of the most effective offered

  42. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:29 p.m.

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thanks again

    https://community.linksys.com/t5/user/myprofilepage/tab/personal-profile:personal-info

  43. voip free calling

    July 25, 2015
    8:12 p.m.

    check beneath, are some entirely unrelated web sites to ours, nonetheless, they are most trustworthy sources that we use

  44. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    5:27 a.m.

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  45. Bathroom vanities

    July 28, 2015
    5:45 a.m.

    Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated data, nonetheless really really worth taking a appear, whoa did 1 find out about Mid East has got a lot more problerms as well

  46. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    2:39 p.m.

    You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!

    http://www.warriorforum.com/showthread.php?t=1094532

  47. Netflix Nederland

    July 28, 2015
    7:23 p.m.

    the time to read or stop by the subject material or internet sites we have linked to below the

  48. Voip cheapest company List

    July 28, 2015
    11:44 p.m.

    very handful of internet websites that transpire to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely worth checking out

  49. i want to make money online

    July 29, 2015
    7:38 a.m.

    just beneath, are numerous entirely not connected internet sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be certainly worth going over

  50. article source

    July 30, 2015
    3:30 a.m.

    we came across a cool site that you simply might enjoy. Take a look if you want

  51. פורץ מנעולים ברמלה

    July 30, 2015
    8:53 a.m.

    Here is an excellent Weblog You might Obtain Exciting that we Encourage You

  52. Schluesseldienst Frankfurt

    July 30, 2015
    12:38 p.m.

    please stop by the web-sites we stick to, including this one, as it represents our picks through the web

  53. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    2:56 p.m.

    Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

    http://slimcelebrity.com

  54. Simpleindex Docudiscover

    July 30, 2015
    3:14 p.m.

    The information and facts mentioned inside the post are several of the best available

  55. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    9:35 a.m.

    I like this site so much, saved to my bookmarks.

    http://noclegzoliborz.pl/

  56. recovery

    Aug. 1, 2015
    11:56 p.m.

    just beneath, are a lot of absolutely not associated web pages to ours, having said that, they’re certainly worth going over

  57. pdr training

    Aug. 2, 2015
    4:22 a.m.

    The details talked about in the report are a few of the most effective obtainable

  58. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    12:43 p.m.

    It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve learn this submit and if I could I want to counsel you few attention-grabbing things or advice. Maybe you can write subsequent articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

    http://www.consultdustry.com/send-resume/

  59. Anonymous

    Aug. 3, 2015
    9:14 a.m.

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog. He used to be entirely right. This submit truly made my day. You can not consider just how much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

    http://workathome481.com

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...