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    First Filibusters, Now Blue Slips: A New Fight over Judicial Nominations

    Senate Democrats triggered the “nuclear option” to effectively eliminate the filibuster for executive and judicial nominations last year. Now another Senate tradition may be next up on the chopping block: the use of “blue slips.” Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D–VT) stated, “As long as the blue-slip process is … More

    Third Time’s a Charm? Another Federal Appellate Court Smacks Down Obama Recess Appointments

    This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) unfair labor practice decisions against two companies based on President Obama’s illegal recess appointments in violation of the Recess Appointments Clause. This is the third appellate court to consider the issue—and President … More

    Cloakroom: The Sequester and Hagel Nomination

    House Cloakroom: February 25 – March 1 Analysis: Sequester week begins in Washington! The House returns from a recess week to take up the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization. The Senate has passed a flawed reauthorization bill. The Senate version contains an unconstitutional expansion of tribal sovereignty, not to mention … More

    Hagel Nomination: The Wrong Person for Secretary of Defense

    The Senate’s failure last week to advance the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to Secretary of Defense was the right result, but for the wrong reason. Some Senators voted against Hagel as a way of pressuring the Obama Administration to answer many troubling and still outstanding questions about the … More

    Senate Deserves Answers on Hagel

    A multitude of questions loom over former Senator Chuck Hagel’s (R–NE) nomination process. It is now up to the Obama Administration to ensure that Senators get the answers comprehensively and not in drips and drabs. For one thing, Hagel’s performance during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee … More

    Why the Hagel Nomination Is in Limbo

    The Senate’s vote on Thursday for former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE) for Secretary of Defense failed by two votes to achieve a 60-vote majority in favor of cloture. White House spokesman Jay Carney blew a gasket, calling the Senate action on the Hagel nomination “unconscionable.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid … More

    'Blizzard' of Words, but Panetta's Actions Will Determine National Security

    At his confirmation hearing today, Defense Secretary nominee Leon Panetta argued that the Cold War of the 20th century had been replaced by a “blizzard” of threats in the 21st. Remarking that “for our troops, there has been no shortage of war,” Panetta will likely concentrate on winding down American … More

    Vote Against Goodwin Liu a Victory for the Rule of Law

    In one of the most important votes on Obama’s lower court judicial nominees, Democrats were unable to overcome the filibuster of Ninth Circuit Court nominee Goodwin Liu in a vote in the U.S. Senate this afternoon. It takes 60 votes to end a filibuster under the Senate rules, and the … More

    Morning Bell: Will Leon Panetta Ensure That America Is Defended?

    Amid a continuing war in Afghanistan, a new operation in Libya, ongoing military efforts in Iraq and a failing foreign policy doctrine, President Barack Obama has proposed cutting the already overstretched U.S. military by $400 billion. And today, he is expected to nominate CIA Director Leon Panetta to serve as … More

    The Kagan Rush to Judgment

    The Senate hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan starts on Monday, June 28.  Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has refused Republican requests to delay the hearing.  The Republicans have a very good and justified reason for that request – the huge number of … More