Senate leadership debates judicial nomination votes

“I am disappointed to say that other side has informed me that they will not agree to a vote on any of these nominations,” Reid said on the floor Thursday. “These votes should be routine.”

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McConnell said he didn’t think it was right for Democrats to “jam” these nominations through right before the election. He added that President Obama has been treated fairly when it comes to the number of nominations that have passed.

“I am curious that my colleague is complaining about the one area that we have met historic norms,” McConnell said. “Five circuit court nominations ... 29 district court nominations ... that’s a good record for an election year.”

Reid pleaded with Republicans to allow a vote on just the 12 emergency vacancies, rather than all 17, to no avail. Emergency vacancies happen when the court backlog gets overwhelming for the number of judges in a region.

“We have 12 judicial emergencies and if we got these out of the way it would be much better for our court system and fairer,” Reid said.