Three District Court Nominees Confirmed

The Senate unanimously confirmed three judicial nominees to federal district court seats yesterday, continuing its developing pattern of approving a small number of noncontroversial nominees on Monday afternoons. Sue Myerscough and James Shadid were both confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, where three out of the district's four seats were vacant, causing debilitating strain documented by a Washington Post story on the judicial vacancy crisis. Anthony Battaglia was confirmed to a district judge position in the Southern District of California. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy thanked the Senate leaders for arranging the votes, but lamented once again that these nominees "could — and, in my view, should — have been considered and confirmed last year." "Instead, they were returned to the President without final Senate action despite their outstanding qualifications, and despite the needs of the American people to have judges available to hear cases in these Federal courts," he said. "The President has had to renominate them, the Senate Judiciary Committee has had to reconsider them and now, finally, the Senate is being allowed to consider these sorely needed judges for Illinois and California." "The Senate must do better," Leahy continued, noting the persistently high level of vacancies. read more

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