Ed Pesce

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Judgment Days for Judicial Nominees
Several factors will affect schedule for Senate confirmation of judges

Senators face a lengthy list of President Donald Trump’s judicial picks, but consideration of the nominees could be affected by three significant factors: an extensive backlog of vacancies, Republican leaders’ willingness to continue altering chamber traditions, and the Democrats’ lack of motivation to aid GOP efforts to remake the judiciary.

There are 121 vacancies at the U.S. District Court level and an additional 21 vacancies on federal appeals courts, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Podcast: Inside the Senate’s Struggle With Civility
The Big Story, Episode 65

Senators are heading home for summer break, after a health care implosion highlighted the partisan ill will that’s festered all year. Ed Pesce, who edits CQ’s Senate coverage, explains how hardline GOP procedural tactics have taken the chamber to a new low, and what could get civil deliberations back on track.

Bipartisan Ayes for Judge David Nye
Senate set to confirm former Obama nominee

The Supreme Court gets all the attention, but President Donald Trump could make lasting changes to the judicial branch in trying to fill the more than 100 U.S. District Court vacancies. The next judicial nomination up for consideration on the Senate floor would fill a spot in Idaho that has been open for some time, and the nominee has some bipartisan support as he has also been previously nominated by a Democratic president.

Before the recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lined up consideration of David Nye to be U.S. district judge for the District of Idaho. This isn’t his first trip through the nomination machine, as he was put forward last year by President Barack Obama for the same position.

Podcast: Senate Picks Up Pace on GOP Health Care Bill
The Big Story, Episode 57

President Donald Trump with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. (CQ Roll Call/File Photo)

After a series of fits and starts, the Senate is starting to clear a path so it can consider legislation dismantling Obamacare, say CQ Roll Call’s Jason Dick and Ed Pesce. They review how the Senate got there and what’s next.

Podcast: Trump’s Empty Seats
Ep. 48: Senate could become ‘full-time confirmation machine,’ squeezing time needed for legislation

The Senate is waiting for hundreds of high-profile nominations to lead the federal government and the U.S. court system, but it might be a long time before any of those people settle into their new jobs, says CQ Roll Call’s Senior Legislative Analyst Ed Pesce. Many must wade through the Senate’s approval process and that could turn the chamber into a "full-time confirmation machine,'' squeezing time needed for legislation.

Show Notes:

Senate Floor Could Be Ripe for Procedural Obstacles
With Cabinet mostly confirmed, contentious legislation awaits

Since the beginning of the 115th Congress, the Senate has operated in a procedural bubble, where Republicans can largely move nominations and legislation with simple majorities on the floor.

That has been the case for votes on the latest slate of Cabinet-level nominations that included confirmations of Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to be Interior secretary, Ben Carson as Housing and Urban Development secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be Energy secretary.