Senate Republicans Block Connors, Other Qualified Judicial Nominees; Republican Obstructionism On Track To Keep Seat On Hawaii’s Federal Bench Vacant For Over A Year
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Senator Mazie K. Hirono today took to the Senate floor to call for unanimous consent to confirm Hawaii’s Clare Connors and other judicial nominees from courts across the country who have been waiting months, and in some cases over a year, for a floor vote. In yet another showing of Senate Republicans’ refusal to do their job and hold confirmation votes on qualified judicial nominees, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked Senator Hirono’s request. Senator Hirono also called on Senate Republicans to take up the nomination of Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court.
“While my colleagues and I attempted to fulfill our duties as Senators by voting to fill urgent vacancies on the federal bench, Senate Republicans continue to refuse to do their jobs, which delays justice from our district courts to the Supreme Court,” said Senator Hirono. “Clare Connors was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan basis, but she and other qualified nominees are being kept in limbo by Republican inaction. I call upon my Republican colleagues to enable all of us to do our jobs and begin the advice and consent process, which we are required to do under the Constitution.”
Earlier this month, Clare Connors was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii created by Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway’s retirement from active service.
Although there are 79 federal judicial nominations pending, 28 of which are judicial emergencies, Senate Republicans have called to arbitrarily stop the confirmation process in July. This would leave federal courts across the country, including the Supreme Court and Hawaii’s U.S. District Court, understaffed for months, or even years. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) joined Senator Hirono in calling for votes on widely-supported judicial nominees, and were also met with Republican opposition.