Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) turned up the heat on Republicans today, blaming them for delaying votes on several Justice Department nominees, The Blog of Legal Times reported.
Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn Johnsen, Tax Division nominee Mary L. Smith, Civil Rights Division nominee Thomas Perez and five U.S. Attorney appointees have spent weeks waiting for a vote before the full Senate. Read our previous post on the U.S. Attorney nominees here. We reported yesterday that the Senate may squeeze in a vote on Perez before its month-long August recess.
“The Senate has to do better,” Leahy said at the hearing, according to The BLT. “There’s actually no excuse for not having moved yet.”
The Vermont senator noted the delay on Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney nominee Joyce Vance, who was endorsed by Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), The BLT said.
“This nominee of a Republican has been blocked by the Republican side,” Leahy said, according to The BLT. “We’ve got to do better than that.” (Actually, Vance was selected by Alabama’s senior House Democrat, Rep. Artur Davis, though she had the support of Sessions. Read one of our previous reports here.)
The BLT noted that no Republicans were present at the hearing today to respond to Leahy’s remarks.