“As with all positions that come with a lifetime appointment,” U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said Monday, “the deliberations over filling the vacancy can take time.” And how!
Robert Bacharach’s confirmation this week to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ended his 13-month wait and fills a seat that’s been open for two-and-a-half years.
The first few tries at nominating someone were sidelined by Inhofe, R-Tulsa, and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee. Finally Bacharach’s name surfaced and President Barack Obama nominated him in January 2012. Bacharach, a U.S. magistrate judge in Oklahoma City since 1999, had sterling credentials, was not a controversial choice and sailed through vetting by the Senate Judiciary Committee last June.
Then silly political games got in the way — Senate Republicans hoping for a change in the White House refused to allow votes on circuit court nominees in advance of the election. Coburn and Inhofe, sadly, did nothing to help Bacharach’s cause.
The folly of this gamesmanship is reflected in Monday’s vote on Bacharach by the full Senate’s — 93-0.