East Hawaii News

Hirono Takes Senate Floor in Push to Confirm Judicial Nominees

April 26, 2016, 3:55 PM HST
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Senator Mazie Hirono. U.S. Senate photo.

Senator Mazie Hirono. U.S. Senate photo.

Senator Mazie Hirono on Tuesday called for unanimous consent on the Senate floor to confirm Hawai’i’s Clare Connors and other judicial nominees.

The Office of Senator Hirono said in a release that some of the nominees from courts across the country have been waiting months, and in some cases years, for a floor vote.

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell blocked Senator Hirono’s request.

“While my colleagues and I attempted to fulfill our duties as Senators by voting to fill urgent vacancies on the federal bench, Senate Republicans continue to refuse to do their jobs, which delays justice from our district courts to the Supreme Court,” said Senator Hirono. “Clare Connors was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan basis, but she and other qualified nominees are being kept in limbo by Republican inaction.

“I call upon my Republican colleagues to enable all of us to do our jobs and begin the advice and consent process, which we are required to do under the Constitution.”

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The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Connors unanimously in early April, to fulfill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai’i. The position opened following Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway’s retirement.

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There are currently 79 federal judicial nominations pending, and 28 of those nominations are judicial emergencies. Senator Hirono’s staff says Senate Republicans have called to arbitrarily stop the confirmation process in July, which could leave federal courts across the country, including the Supreme Court and Hawaii’s U.S. District Court, understaffed for months, or even years.

Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) joined Senator Hirono in calling for votes on widely-supported judicial nominees, and were also met with Republican opposition.

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