WASHINGTON — Robert E. Bacharach, whose nomination to a federal appeals court was blocked by Senate Republicans for the last six months of 2012, was re-nominated Thursday by President Barack Obama.
Bacharach, a U.S. magistrate judge in Oklahoma City, has strong bipartisan support, but his nomination for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals got caught up last year in presidential politics.
Obama resubmitted 33 judicial nominations that effectively died with the adjournment of the last Congress. The new Congress began Thursday.
The president said the nominees “could have and should have been confirmed before the Senate adjourned.”
“Several have been awaiting a vote for more than six months, even though they all enjoy bipartisan support. I continue to be grateful for their willingness to serve and remain confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity,” Obama said.
“I urge the Senate to consider and confirm these nominees without delay, so all Americans can have equal and timely access to justice.”
Bacharach sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, but his nomination stalled in July when Senate Republicans — hoping Mitt Romney would win the presidency and make his own judicial nominations — refused to allow votes on appeals court judges before the presidential election.
Both of Oklahoma's Republican senators endorsed Bacharach for the appeals court position, though neither voted to help break a GOP filibuster of his confirmation vote.
The 10th Circuit Court is a step below the U.S. Supreme Court. The seat for which Bacharach has been nominated has been vacant since July 2010.
Bacharach, 53, has been a U.S. magistrate judge since 1999 for the Western District of Oklahoma and has handled nearly 3,000 criminal and civil matters. He received the highest possible rating from the American Bar Association after being nominated last year.