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. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....