Senate votes to confirm two judicial nominees

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said Gonzales was “truly a stand-out nominee.”

“Gonzales is an exceptional nominee with an impressive range of legal experience and expertise,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said ahead of the vote. “But he is more than just his resume, he is also an inspiring American story.”

Udall pointed out the Gonzales was the first in his family to graduate from college and served his country in the military.

Also Monday, Luis Restrepo was confirmed by voice-vote, to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Republicans have been calling for President Obama to send more judicial nominees to the committee for consideration, and yet now that Obama has sent some, GOPs are saying Obama is sending too many.

“I’ve heard some of my colleagues on the Republican side being very critical of the president for not sending judicial nominations to the Senate, even though when he has they’ve held up the nominations for more than a year,” Leahy said. “But now the president has sent nominees for multiple vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court … so now they’re saying he’s sending up too many. … What my friends on the other side of the aisles are saying is you’re not sending up enough but you’re also sending too many.”

Ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) pointed out that Republicans couldn’t be blamed for the fact that 52 of the 77 judicial vacancies don’t have nominees.

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