Judicial Nomination Blocked

by TChris

The Senate today blocked confirmation of William Myers to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Only 53 Senators voted to cut off debate, fewer than the 60 required. TalkLeft background on Myers is here.

Myers is the first nominee opposed by Senators primarily on environmental grounds, and the first to be formally opposed by Native American groups. As an activist lawyer and lobbyist for the mining and beef industries, and later as the top lawyer at the Interior Department, Myers launched sweeping attacks against fundamental environmental protections such as the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

The next battle: Three Michigan judges nominated to the Sixth Circuit -- Richard Griffin, David McKeague, and Henry Saad -- were approved by the Judiciary Committee on 10-9 party-line votes. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, both of Michigan, may seek a filibuster to prevent their confirmations.

In a written statement, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the committee's highest-ranking Democrat, said it was the first time in 50 years that the committee had ignored the objections of both home-state senators. Leahy added that Democrats are concerned about Griffin and McKeague's decisions in several labor and environmental cases.

Update: The post has been corrected to reflect the actual vote tally, which appears here. Thanks to Howard Bashman for spotting the error.

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