Two Oklahoma judges caught in U.S. Senate gamesmanship
This is getting ridiculous.
An Oklahoman who's been waiting to become a federal judge apparently will be made to wait some more, perhaps until after the presidential election in November, because of political gamesmanship by Republicans in the U.S. Senate.
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The Senate Judiciary Committee last week cleared Robert E. Bacharach of Oklahoma City to fill a 2-year-old vacancy on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and John E. Dowdell of Tulsa to become a district judge. As The Oklahoman's Chris Casteel reported, these aren't controversial nominations. Both men have the support of their home-state senators.
However, GOP leaders in the Senate must agree to let judicial nominations be voted on by the full body, and Sen. Tom Coburn says he doesn't expect that to happen for Bacharach. Apparently, he could wind up getting caught in a game of slow-play that, sad to say, both parties employ during presidential election years when the president is from the other party.
This year, that means the GOP could hold up votes on nominees to appeals courts, which are lifetime positions and carry considerable clout.
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