Senate Republicans have agreed to a vote on one of the federal judicial nominees from Oklahoma but are still holding up proceedings on another.
Republican senators have been blocking votes for nearly six months on Robert E. Bacharach, a U.S. magistrate judge in Oklahoma City who has been nominated for a seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and John E. Dowdell, a Tulsa attorney nominated for a federal district judge position in Tulsa.
Republicans will allow a vote on Dowdell, expected to come Tuesday afternoon, but they still haven’t agreed to a vote on Bacharach.
Both nominees were supported by Oklahoma’s senators and breezed through their confirmation hearings and votes in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Republicans in the Senate claimed during the summer that they were just following a Senate tradition of blocking nominees during a presidential election year. After the election, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, predicted that Dowdell and Bacharach would sail through the Senate.
That hasn’t happened.
Bacharach, a supposedly non-controversial candidate, was nominated on Jan. 23. Nearly 11 months later, even after the president won reelection, there is still no sign that Republicans will allow a vote.
They’re not discriminating against Oklahoma.
Sen. Pat Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week that more than 20 nominees are still awaiting a vote.