The GOP obstruction of 17 of Obama's judical nominees is finally getting a break, and gay nominee Michael Fitzgerald is up for a vote this afternoon.
At 1:45pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the following nominations with 15 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled between Senators Leahy and Grassley or their designees:
Cal. #408, Gina Marie Groh, of West Virginia, to be US District Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia
Cal. #461, Michael Walter Fitzgerald, of California, to be United States District Judge for the Central District of California
People for the American Way reported on the break in negotions yesterday:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly reached an agreement this afternoon to begin to alleviate the backlog of judicial nominees created by GOP obstruction.
According to reports, Republicans will allow votes on 14 pending district and circuit nominees by May 7th , the first seven before the end of this month.
Reid was forced to file petitions Monday to end GOP filibusters of 17 district court nominees, many of whom had been waiting for votes for more than three months. Prior to the Obama administration, only three district court nominees had been filibustered in the past 60 years. President Obama’s nominees to the federal courts have had to wait on average four times as long for a simple Senate vote as did President Bush’s nominees at this point in his presidency.
Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly wrote, earlier this week:
Fitzgerald, who was nominated by President Obama in July 2011 for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, had a hearing in October 2011 and was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee to the full Senate without opposition on Nov. 3, 2011…According to the list posted by Democrats today, Fitzgerald would be the third of the 17 nominees to be considered."