History was made today when the Senate voted to confirm Patricia Millett to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
Patricia Ann Millett became the newest judge on the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals after the Senate confirmed her Tuesday by a vote of 56-38.
Millett made history for another reason: she was the first judge to be confirmed after the Democratic majority triggered the nuclear option to eliminate the filibuster for non-Supreme Court nominees late November. She faced a sustained filibuster by Republicans, who didn't contest her qualifications but argued that the court didn't need any new judges.
Both sides saw Millett's appointment as pivotal. It will give Democratic-appointed judges a 5-4 majority over those chosen by Republican presidents for that court, which rules on the legality of White House actions and federal agency regulations.Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted to approve the nomination of Millett.
The historic breaking of the filibuster rule was made by Harry Reid after days, weeks, months, years of Republicans stymying the will of the American people and creating an unprecedented logjam in President Obama's appointees languishing unconfirmed, from the lowest position (under secretary of defense for personnel) to the highest short of the Supreme Court.
Obama's Democrats, who hold the Senate 55-45, cleared the way last month for this confirmation parade by reducing from 60 to a simple majority the number of votes needed to end a filibuster against executive branch and judicial nominees - except those for the Supreme Court.Confirmation parade. Heh.
In changing the rules, Democrats accused Republicans of unprecedented obstructionism. Republicans fired back by accusing Democrats of an unwarranted power grab.
Senator McTurtle whined:
Two weeks ago the president and his Democratic allies defied two centuries of traditions, their own prior statements and, in the case of some Democratic leaders, their own public commitment about following the rules of the Senate,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said before the vote. “They did this for one reason: to advance an agenda that the American people do not want.”Sorry Mitch, elections have consequences despite your dogged attempts to prevent them from doing so. On the contrary, finally, at long last the "agenda" of the American people will be allowed to be fulfilled, according to the sweeping elections won by President Obama in 08 and 12. They sent you a message, you're just refusing to hear it. You lost. Get over it.