Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 29, 2015

Reid: Recess Won’t Start Until After Judicial Nomination Vote

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in no mood to delay a scheduled confirmation vote for a Ninth Circuit judicial nominee — warning he’ll keep the Senate in session Friday if Republicans don’t consent to an earlier vote.

“We’re not punting,” the Nevada Democrat told CQ Roll Call when asked if the confirmation vote on President Barack Obama’s choice of Michelle T. Friedland for a seat on the Ninth Circuit would be put off until after the two-week recess.

The Senate voted, 56-41, to invoke cloture and thus limit debate on that nomination earlier Thursday, with Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joining Democratic caucus members in voting for cloture.

“I mean, that’s their privilege,” the Nevada Democrat said of Republicans apparent insistence on not yielding back the 30 hours of post-cloture debate time allowed for judicial nominations at the appellate level under the Senate’s rules, adding that it meant the vote would occur Friday.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said that he did not anticipate the GOP conference yielding on the 30 hours of post-cloture debate on the Friedland nomination, a point reaffirmed by senior Republican aides, although the success of the nomination is assured.

If all time is used, confirmation would occur at approximately 5 p.m. Friday. That vote would be immediately followed by a vote to limit debate on the pick of David Weil, a Boston University professor, to be run the wage and hour division at the Department of Labor.

It’s become typical for the Senate to make quick exits for recess on Thursday afternoons and delay roll call votes until 5:30 p.m. on the Monday the chamber returns to legislative session, but each delay has the potential of consuming more valuable floor time.

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  1. ShadrachSmith

    April 10, 2014
    5:31 p.m.

    In her career thus far, Friedland has endorsed foreign law over domestic law; she’s attacked religious freedom (saying that Judeo Christian beliefs are “discredited”); and has actively fought the expressed will of the people (California’s voter-passed Proposition 8).

    As an active member of the liberal American Constitutional Society, Friedland believes in “debunking” originalist and strict constructionist interpretations of the Constitution rather than upholding the Supreme Law as it is expressly written.

    In “Disqualification or Suppression: Due Process and the Response to Judicial Campaign Speech,” Friedland goes so far as to claim that:

    “There is no independent truth about the content of rights in state constitutions …. The rights are no more than what enforceable judgments of the state courts say they are. … [The] constitution only creates rights to the extent a judiciary … says it does.” Conservative Action Alerts

    This is the kind of vote that a red state senator up for re-election should fear. Vote no, and you lose campaign support, vote yes and you see a Koch bros commercial high-lighting your support of another Constitution hating liberal judge.

  2. iris strickland

    April 10, 2014
    9:54 p.m.

    are you kidding me. they will stay in session to vote on a judge but took 3 months to pass the unemployment extension for millions of people out of work. what has this country come to…

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