Senate advances Fourth Circuit nominee

The Senate voted 54-41 Thursday to end debate on the nomination of Pamela Harris to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit. 

Harris is a professor at the Georgetown University Law School. A vote on her confirmation is expected Monday.

“She is exceptional in her qualifications,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said ahead of the vote. “She understands what the judiciary is all about.”

But Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he opposed her nomination because her record prior to being nominated was full of “left-wing philosophy.”

“It’s as if there were two entirely distinct nominees vying for the same nomination,” Grassley said. “The post-nominations statements are strikingly different than her pre-nomination views.

“From this nominee’s past commentary we know she’s a liberal. … Is there any doubt that this nominee views the courts as a third political branch?”

Grassley also said that Democrats wanted to “fast-track” this particular nominee because the Fourth Circuit hears cases on federal laws, such as ObamaCare.

“A vote for this nominee is also a solid vote for deciding cases favorable to the Affordable Care Act,” Grassley said.

The Senate also adopted the motion to proceed to S. 2569, the Bring Jobs Home Act, by voice-vote. That bill would end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.

The Senate confirmed several executive nominees by voice-vote. A list follows:

- Lisa Disbrow to be an Assistant Secretary of the Air Force.

- Victor Mendez to be Deputy Secretary for the Department of Transportation.

- Peter Rogoff to be Under Secretary of policy for the Department of Transportation.

- Bruce Andrews to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Commerce.

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