This evening the Senate confirmed Judge Michael Shipp to the District of New Jersey after Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked for, and received unanimous consent to withdraw the cloture motion on Judge Shipp’s nomination and to proceed directly to a confirmation vote. Republicans forced Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) to file cloture on Judge Shipp’s nomination last week because of a dispute on an unrelated bill. This is not the first time that Senator Reid has been forced to file cloture on long-pending, exceptionally qualified nominees. In March he filed cloture on 17 nominees, after Republicans slow-walked confirmations for much of the early part of the year.
Now that Judge Shipp has been confirmed, there are 20 judicial nominees awaiting final confirmation votes, including 10 who would fill “judicial emergency” seats. The Senate should move quickly to confirm the pending nominees who are only waiting for their final votes — almost all of whom have strong bipartisan support — before the upcoming August recess.