Summer recess is over for members of Congress, who return to work today in Washington. And President Barack Obama has a message for some members of the Senate: give his judicial nominees and other picks a vote.
“I’ve got people who have been waiting for six months to get confirmed, who nobody has an official objection to and who were voted out of committee unanimously, and I can’t get a vote on them,” Obama said at a White House news conference Friday, according to the BLT Blog.
Obama bemoaned the fact that nominees for federal judgeships and other posts have been stalled by Senate Republicans using procedural speed bumps, if not filibusters.
“We’ve got judges who are pending. We’ve got people who are waiting to help us on critical issues like homeland security,” he said. “And it’s very hard when you’ve got a determined minority in the Senate that insists on a 60-vote filibuster on every single person.”
Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan made her social debut as a member of the nation’s highest court. Kagan accompanied Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to opening night at the Washington National Opera‘s “Un Ballo in Maschera” Saturday.
In other news:
Sotomayor on the road: During a whirlwind trip where she met with law school students, lawyers, community leaders and the judges before addressing a crowd of 1,300 at the annual dinner of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said: “It feels like I met all of Cleveland. You rock.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Immigration shift: Although the number of deportations has risen to record levels under the Obama administration, the White House has enacted new policies that will reduce the chances of deportation for millions. (AP’s The Upshot)
Eight-judge bench: The number of cases from which Kagan will recuse herself – based on her involvement as solicitor general and/or other reasons – stands today at 21. (BLT via ABA Journal)