Democratic senators pushing for vote on federal nominees

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Some Democratic senators in the U.S. Senate Wednesday are calling for unanimous consent to hold a floor vote on the judicial nominations, including Winfield Ong who has been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, on Tuesday urged her Republican colleagues to vote on candidates for the district and circuit courts whose nominations have been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. In particular, she highlighted Donald Schott, the nominee from Wisconsin for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  

Baldwin noted there are currently 83 vacancies on the federal bench, 29 of which have been declared a judicial emergency because of the caseloads. The Wisconsin seat on the 7th Circuit has been unoccupied for more than 2,375 days, making it the longest-standing vacancy on the federal circuit.

“The American people deserve full and functioning courts from the Supreme Court to our district courts,” Baldwin said.

Other Democrats are expected to follow Baldwin in pushing for a vote by calling for unanimous consent. This is a maneuver that can easily be derailed by just one Senator objecting to consent but it might move the leadership closer to putting the nominees on the agenda.

Glenn Sugameli, attorney and founder of Judging the Environment, a nonprofit that advises the environmental community and educates the public on federal judicial nominees, speculated the Senate could put the current crop of candidates up for a vote on the first day that the Senate reconvenes in September after its summer break. Such a so-called bed check vote would force members to get back to Washington and would be non-controversial since the potential judges have all been vetted by the Judicial Committee.

Ong was nominated by Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, and Dan Coats, a Republican, in January and approved by the Judicial Committee in June.


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  1. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

  2. The Indiana DOE released the 2015-2016 school grades in Dec 2016 and my local elementary school is a "C" grade school. Look at the MCCSC boundary maps and how all of the most affluent neighborhoods have the best performance. It is no surprise that obtaining residency in the "A" school boundaries cost 1.5 to 3 times as much. As a parent I should have more options than my "C" school without needing to pay the premium to live in the affluent parts of town. If the charter were authorized by a non-religious school the plaintiffs would still be against it because it would still be taking per-pupil money from them. They are hiding behind the guise of religion as a basis for their argument when this is clearly all about money and nothing else.

  3. This is a horrible headline. The article is about challenging the ability of Grace College to serve as an authorizer. 7 Oaks is not a religiously affiliated school

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  5. The headline change to from "religious" to "religious-affiliated" is still inaccurate and terribly misleading.