WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats on Thursday advanced seven of Joe Biden’s judicial nominees with Republican votes. They discarded others who lacked bipartisan support, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein absent.
The Senate Judiciary chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has changed course. He had repeatedly postponed meetings from early March in order to advance a group of judges without the decisive vote by Feinstein, D. California, who is on an indefinite medical leave.
Durbin stated, “We wish Sen. Feinstein a quick recovery and return.” “We hope that she will be back to the Senate very shortly.” The agenda today includes several judicial nominees that have been on the agenda for a while. Some of them have bipartisan support. “There’s nothing that prevents us from voting and calling on these nominees now.”
The panel approved the nominations of Wesley Hsu and Monica Ramirez Almadani to become district court justices in California, Jeffrey Irvine Cummings to serve as district court judge in Illinois, Michael Farbiarz to be a New Jersey district court judge and Robert Kirsch for a New Jersey district court. Orelia Eleta merchant was also nominated to be a New York district court court judge.
All of them were voted in by Democrats. The Republicans supported them in varying degrees, with Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina being the most prominent.
“I hope Senator Feinstein returns quickly. Graham added that the committee could still function without her. “Sometimes, we can’t agree and that’s part of life.”
Durbin’s approach was to move a group of judicial nominations forward together, regardless of whether they had bipartisan support. In this case, he had to shelve five nominees that lacked GOP support. These included Michael Delaney for the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, and Charnelle Brjelkengren as a Washington district court judge.
There are 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans on the panel. A tie vote means that a nominee is not approved. A tie vote in committee means a nominee fails.
In an earlier week, Republicans prevented Democrats temporarily replacing Feinstein (89) on the Judiciary Committee. have called for her to resign but she says she will return as soon as doctors permit.