With less than four and a half months until Election Day, Senate Republicans are shutting off the bipartisan spigot when it comes to confirming President Barack Obama’s nominees to the nation’s top courts and will present a unified front against his circuit court picks through November.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) made the decision to blockade nominations official Wednesday when he informed his colleagues that he would invoke the “Thurmond Rule” from now until after the elections.
Named after the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) — the doctrine holds that within six months of a presidential election, the opposition party can, and typically does, refuse to allow votes on circuit court judges.
Republican sources said the GOP will impose its blockade on circuit court judges now but that district court nominees will likely continue to be confirmed until at least early September, when cooperation on lower court picks has traditionally ended.
Source: Roll Call