Fix the Senate Now

Why & How the U.S. Senate Should Reform Senators? ?Blue Slip? Veto Power over Judicial Nominees

Washington, DC – In order to fully realize the potential of last November’s changes to the nominations process, the Fix the Senate Now coalition has been calling for the U.S. Senate to explore additional reforms. In particular, we have highlighted the need for changes to “blue slips,” a courtesy practice not mentioned anywhere in the Senate’s rules that allows senators to block consideration of federal judicial nominees from their home states. The Fix the Senate Now coalition believes that the blue slip prerogative needlessly encourages obstruction – and is particularly anachronistic after last November’s Senate reforms.  

After eliminating the filibuster’s minority veto last November for most nominees, it no longer makes sense to provide home-state senators with blue slip power – a single-member veto that can be levied without any public justification.

At a minimum, the Senate should explore reforms to add greater accountability and transparency to the blue slip process.  In particular, if a home-state senator has a problem with a nominee, they should have to air their objections in public at a hearing – not in secret in a backroom. This would encourage greater accountability and transparency, and would raise the costs of potential obstruction.  These same principles are at the heart of the “talking filibuster” provision backed by the Fix the Senate Now coalition.  To further accountability, the Senate should also return to the practice of posting the status of blue slips for each judge nominated on a transparent, easily accessible website, as was the case in the recent past.

There is recent precedent to support blue slip reform: as the Congressional Research Service stated in 2003, the blue slip policy of then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was that, “A return of a negative blue slip by one or both home-state Senators does not prevent the committee from moving forward with the nomination – provided that the Administration has engaged in pre-nomination consultation with both of the home-state Senators.”  In other words, senators had a consultation role, but not veto power, over home-state nominees.  A similar arrangement would be a step forward for this Senate as well.

A recent report from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law documents how judicial vacancies remain a problem for federal trial courts, even after last November’s Senate reforms.  One important step in addressing these problems is to reform the blue slip courtesy.


For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org

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ICYMI: New Study Documents Burden of Continued Judicial Vacancies; Makes Case for Further Reforms

Washington, DC – A new study from the Brennan Center for Justice makes clear that federal trial courts remain overburdened and understaffed.  While abuse of Senate rules such as the filibuster played a major role in creating this judicial backlog, last November’s reforms to the filibuster for nominations have not fully alleviated the crisis.  In fact, as the report notes, since the November 2013 Senate reforms, the number of district court vacancies has actually increased from 75 to 80.

The new report substantiates Fix the Senate Now’s call for additional Senate reforms to fully realize the potential of last November’s step forward.

Here are some highlights from the Brennan Center’s report:

  • “The current level of trial court vacancies is substantially higher than what existed at the equivalent point in President Clinton’s second term (60) or President Bush’s second term (35).”
  • “Remarkably, not a single district court nominee has been confirmed since the Senate began its new session in January; 27 nominees are currently pending on the Senate floor and another 26 are pending in the Judiciary Committee, according to data from Alliance for Justice.”
  • “With 80 outstanding district court vacancies, along with four new vacancies anticipated by the end of March and an additional six new vacancies expected by the end of June, the pace of confirmations must dramatically increase in order to make a meaningful dent in the vacancy backlog.
  • These high vacancy levels, coupled with heavy caseloads, are also leaving trial court judges with unprecedented workloads. . . . the number of pending cases per sitting judge reached an all-time high in 2009 and was higher in 2012 than at any point from 1992-2007.”
  • Since 2010, the district courts have been hobbled by an unprecedented number of judicial emergencies. . . . The total number of judicial emergencies currently sits at 29 — the same number as existed in November 2013, when the filibuster rules were changed.”
  • Obstruction of non-controversial nominees is an abuse of the advise and consent process.  Politics should not be permitted to hobble our courts.  With courts facing unprecedented workloads, action is urgently required so that courts can effectively deliver justice despite heavy caseloads.”

The Brennan Center report underscores why Fix the Senate Now is calling for additional Senate reforms to fully realize the potential of last November’s changes.  As the Brennan Center report makes clear, our federal courts are in desperate need of a full complement of qualified judges.  It is time for the Senate majority to consider new rules changes that will put judicial nominees on the bench as soon as possible.

Read the full Brennan Center report: http://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/trial-court-update-vacancies-higher-after-filibuster-reform


For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org

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ICYMI: Support Building for Additional Senate Reforms

Washington, DC – After several years of unprecedented gridlock and obstruction, the U.S. Senate adopted reforms last November to allow majority votes for most presidential nominees. This important step forward for the chamber permitted the confirmation of over a dozen qualified judicial and executive branch nominees.

However, as a range of observers are highlighting, it is becoming increasingly clear that additional Senate reforms are needed in order to fully realize the potential of last November’s reforms and to return the chamber to its more functional roots. Certain rules and practices associated with presidential nominations are still subject to abuse and serve little purpose except to further gridlock, delay, and partisan obstruction. Important areas for further Senate reform include reducing the time-wasting associated with nominee floor debate time; reforming senators’ “blue slip” privileges allowing them to block consideration of nominees from their home states; and raising the costs of obstruction, perhaps by instituting a “talking filibuster.” Recent coverage and chatter regarding further Senate reforms includes the following:

  • Huffington Post, February 8: "Reid can still schedule votes for nominees without the consent of Republicans, but it would be extremely time-consuming, requiring a full day to pass before even beginning debate and then anywhere from two to 30 hours for each nominee, per Senate rules. With unanimous consent, a nominee can be voted on in minutes. A senior Senate Democratic aide said party leaders are trying to figure out a way to work together to let some judicial nominees through. But that isn't likely to happen until at least Feb. 24, when the Senate returns from a recess and begins a new work period. Even then, it could get messy. ‘Doubt you'll see any movement before recess,’ said the aide. ‘This could be the next big fight in the next work period.’"
  • The Hill, February 9: "Reid is reluctant to provoke another confrontation with Republican colleagues over the rules, but he’s frustrated with the continued obstruction and needs the help of outside groups to turn out voters in the midterm elections. ‘Reid is not afraid to go further and considers reform this year a real possibility,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide … One proposal is to implement the so-called talking filibuster, which would require members of the minority party to actively hold the floor in order to block legislation. Republicans would be less likely to filibuster if they had to organize teams to talk on the Senate floor for hours upon hours."
  • The Hill, February 13: "Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.) spoke with the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) about hastening the approval of President Obama's judicial nominees, the Maryland Democrat revealed. Hoyer, the House Democratic whip, has joined the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in voicing concerns that upper-chamber procedures – which effectively allow a single home-state senator to block court nominees – have been abused by Republicans, thereby preventing qualified African Americans from reaching the federal bench. Hoyer said he spoke recently with Reid Chief of Staff David Krone about the controversial ‘blue slip’ process in hopes that Senate Democratic leaders can find a way to get those nominees appointed."
  • Talking Points Memo, February 17: “Three months after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) triggered the so-called nuclear option to kill the filibuster for most presidential nominations, the Senate remains in a logjam. And the liberal activists who incubated filibuster reform are pushing Democrats to capitalize on that victory and further weaken the minority party's ability to obstruct. Next on the wish-list of the Fix The Senate Now coalition: scrapping mandatory delays for confirming judges and requiring a "talking filibuster" for senators seeking to block nominations or legislation. They also want Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to nix a courtesy -- called the ‘blue slip’ -- that lets senators single-handedly block a home state judicial nominee from coming up in committee. ‘Further reforms are absolutely under consideration among both rank and file and leadership,’ a top aide to Reid told TPM."
  • Roll Call, February 18: "One senior Democratic aide said the precedent of filing cloture on every noncontroversial nominee is a practice Democrats would prefer to avoid.  There are far too many positions subject to Senate confirmation to work through all the debate time. Individual Democrats have begun to push for votes and consent to confirm nominees without repeating the around-the-clock sessions that became common in December."

For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org

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Lack of Senate Action on Judicial Vacancies Shows Need for Further Senate Reforms

Washington, DC – Last November’s reforms to Senate rules were a step forward that led to an initial round of confirmations for qualified nominees.  A broad range of judicial and executive nominees who had previously been blocked by an obstinate Senate minority were finally brought to up-or-down votes on the Senate floor, enabling them to take their rightful places at the forefront of the Obama Administration and the federal judiciary.  Unfortunately, 2014 has proven to be a year of inaction, with Senate Republicans successfully halting or delaying the confirmations of most of President Obama’s nominees.  See below for more:

  • Senate Floor Action on Nominees Has Been Virtually Nonexistent This Year.  Out of the 56 judicial nominees who were awaiting confirmation at the beginning of January, the Senate has confirmed just one.  As a result, the Article III federal courts began February with 96 vacant judgeships – the highest number of vacancies at the start of a month since March 2011, according to uscourts.gov.
  • Blame Rests on McConnell: Much of the blame for this nominee backlog should be assigned to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has shown no indication of allowing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to proceed to timely confirmation votes on the 32 judicial nominees that have been reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  At Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) faulted Republicans’ refusal to allow confirmation votes, and suggested that the Senate would stay in session through weekends and an upcoming recess, if necessary, in order to confirm the waiting nominees.
  • White House Failure to Nominate No Longer a Big Issue: In the past, some argued that President Obama was failing to nominate enough judges to fill these vacancies.  But that argument is impossible to make today.  The president has announced a steady stream of judicial nominees in recent months, including five new circuit and district court judges this week.  With these nominations, the total number of judicial nominees awaiting Senate confirmation rises to 63 – the highest number of nominees recorded by uscourts.gov since August 1992, when President George H.W. Bush had 72 nominees awaiting Senate action.  Put another way, the last time a president had been so successful at making judicial nominations, Jay Leno had barely begun hosting The Tonight Show.

In the face of a three-year high in judicial vacancies and a twenty-two-year high in judicial nominees, Senate Democratic leaders must take swift action to drive these numbers downwards.  We strongly urge Majority Leader Reid and Chairman Leahy to consider reforms to floor and committee rules that will hasten the confirmation of President Obama’s talented and qualified set of nominees.


For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org

 

Minority of Senators Filibuster Unemployment Insurance for Millions

Despite a strong majority supporting a three-month extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed, a minority of Senators succeeded in filibustering the legislation this afternoon, blocking the measure from clearing the needed 60-vote threshold. Fix the Senate Now issues the following statement on the vote:

“Today's Senate vote to block an extension of unemployment benefits is another reminder of the real-world consequences of Senate Republicans’ continued abuse of the legislative filibuster.  The fact that Senate rules permit an obstinate minority of senators to block assistance to needy families by sitting on their hands and withholding support is an affront both to basic human decency and to our nation’s proud democratic traditions.”

“While we have taken important steps to reform the Senate’s rules for nominations, the Senate’s default requirement of a 60-vote threshold to pass legislation remains an important target for further reforms.  Fix the Senate Now is committed to continuing to push for these reforms to take place in 2014.”


For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org

Senate Rules Reform ? The State of Play

Washington, DC – Last November’s Senate reforms have led to a more productive, responsive, and democratic Senate. Without Senate reform, we likely would still be waiting to confirm three judges to vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) would still be without a Director, and the confirmations of the Chair of the Federal Reserve and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would have been uncertain. Other cause for optimism includes the Senate Judiciary Committee approval of 29 judicial nominees this week.

However, more reforms are needed in order to re-establish a truly functional Senate.  As recent Senate developments highlight, cutting down on purely partisan obstruction and raising the costs of default obstruction should remain key priorities: 

Further Reforms to Nominations Process: Despite last November’s Senate reforms, the nominations process still includes procedural roadblocks and delay tactics that serve little purpose other than fueling partisan obstruction. Recent media reports have described a number of continued abuses of the confirmation process:

  • Huffington Post, December 18: “Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that a confirmation hearing for five district court nominees was being postponed because GOP senators had invoked the "two-hour rule" to prevent the committee from meeting beyond the first two hours of the Senate's day.”
  • CNN, January 8: “Sen. Marco Rubio was for the nomination of Judge William Thomas, before he was against him. Thomas was President Barack Obama's pick for a vacant federal judicial seat in Florida, Rubio's home state. The White House has now pulled the nomination, according to an administration official. Under arcane rules, a senator can unilaterally block the Senate from considering a nominee from his home state by refusing to return a so-called blue slip. In light of the Rubio objection, President Obama decided not to renominate Thomas.”
  • Think Progress, January 15: “In 2009, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) wrote a letter to President Obama recommending that he nominate Jennifer May-Parker, a federal prosecutor from his state, to a judicial vacancy on a federal trial court. ...Last June, the president agreed with Burr’s recommendation, and nominated Ms. May-Parker to be a federal district judge. And now Burr is blocking May-Parker’s nomination, invoking an arcane Senate tradition that allows senators to unilaterally veto judicial nominees from their own state.”
  • Washington Post, January 16: “Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s feeling a bit lonely these days in Foggy Bottom. After about a year in the job, he said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, more than “one-third of my top leadership team, including half of my undersecretary positions, remain vacant.”
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 17: “Members of the Congressional Black Caucus led by Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge say that Republicans are abusing a U.S. Senate tradition to obstruct confirmation of President Barack Obama's African-American judicial nominees. So Fudge will ask the Senate Judiciary Committee to process nominations without approval from both U.S. Senators in the nominee's home state.”

Beyond Nominations – Additional Senate Reforms Needed:  In 2014, the Senate should explore reforms to raise the costs of obstruction – 60 votes should not be the default threshold for nearly every order of Senate business:

  • The Hill, January 5: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Sunday said he was not currently considering an elimination of the filibuster for legislation, but he warned that the country could not remain ‘paralyzed’ by Republican obstruction … in a rare Sunday television interview, Reid stopped short of categorically ruling out such a move in the future.”
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on MSNBC, January 14: “My own view, and it’s a fairly radical view here within the Senate, is that what we should do is say: You know what? We’re going to require 50 votes, a majority. We’re going to overcome the Republican filibuster. We don’t need to have to get 60 votes for every single piece of legislation designed to help working families, whether it’s extending unemployment benefits, or raising the minimum wage, or whatever. Majority should rule.”
  • Talking Points Memo, January 14: “The push to revive jobless benefits for some 1.4 million long-term unemployed Americans is -- still -- going nowhere fast in the Senate, bogged down by a series of excruciating procedural hurdles and disputes. The latest: Republicans filibustered two test votes on Tuesday, complaining that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wasn't playing fair on amendments. An 11-month extension that was paid for received 52 votes, short of the 60 senators needed to move forward. A second vote on a clean three-month extension won over 55 senators and was also blocked.”
  • Boston Globe’s Scot Lehigh, January 15: “[Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell has made delay and obstruction in the pursuit of partisan advantage a veritable dark art. …McConnell also ushered in the era where virtually anything of any consequence must pass the filibuster-ending threshold of 60 votes. …Democrats were justified in changing the rules to eliminate the filibustering of most presidential nominations. But that reform is only part of the answer. More must be done.”
  • Time, January 17: “Get ready for gridlock. Despite the passage Thursday of a massive budget bill to fund the government, Congress is unlikely to pass any other major piece of legislation this year—with the possible exception of a long overdue farm bill. ...Even the first high-profile legislative fight of the year, extending emergency unemployment insurance—which has the support of the President and the Senate—has faltered.”

For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org

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Senate Rules Reform: A Notable 2013 Success, but More Work to Do in 2014

After years of growing gridlock and an increasing inability to keep the Senate operating on even basic and bipartisan issues, the Senate reforms shepherded through by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November were a step back toward functional democracy. Already, the reforms have led to a spate of confirmations of qualified judicial and executive branch nominees. As a result, Senate rules reform is one of the notable policy and campaign success stories of 2013

Looking forward, some remaining Senate rules are still subject to abuse, serve little purpose except to further Senate gridlock for partisan purposes, and are ripe for reform in 2014.  Below is a short recap of the key 2013 reforms and a reminder of the work to do on Senate reform in 2014.

  • About the Need for Further Senate Reforms: Writing in The Atlantic Online, Andrew Cohen wrote, “After Senate Democrats last month killed the filibuster for judicial nominees, Senate Republicans had two main options available. They could turn Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings into more substantive affairs. Or they could choose to block those confirmation hearings, using procedural tactics to deny even the most mainstream of judicial nominees the opportunity to defend their records under oath in public … Guess which option they chose?” Obstructionist tactics on display since the Senate reforms of November include:
  • Many nominations are allotted as much as 30 hours of debate each before a final vote must be taken, and Republicans have refused to yield back that time. This led to the Senate Republicans’ talkathon on the Senate floor last week in order to delay Nina Pillard’s official confirmation to the D.C. Circuit.
  • Last week, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) objected to the common practice of securing unanimous consent to confirm a broad slate of noncontroversial judicial and executive nominees.
  • Republicans recently refused to show up for a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, which denied the committee a quorum for voting on judicial nominees
  • Some Senators are continuing their refusal to return “blue slips” to signal their consent for judicial nominees from their home states to move forward. By custom, nominees do not receive a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee until both of their home state Senators return blue slips.  As a result of persistent obstruction, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) warned this week that “if GOP senators keep it up, he's prepared to strip them of their tools in committee -- a veiled threat to do away with the ‘blue slip rule,’” as Huffington Post’s Jennifer Bendery notes

Ensuring that the Senate keeps moving in a functional direction will remain a key 2014 priority for the Fix the Senate Now coalition. Overcoming institutional gridlock in the Senate is a good thing for our democracy, independent of the short-term partisan lens through which many are viewing November’s reforms.


For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org 

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Despite Confirmations, Persistent Delay Tactics Show That Further Senate Reforms Needed

Washington, DC – Three weeks have passed since the U.S. Senate instituted sensible, democratic reforms intended to reduce gridlock and put the Senate on a path back to its traditional functionality.

As the confirmation of three qualified nominees this week demonstrates, the promise of these reforms has started to be fulfilled. However, this week has also demonstrated that further Senate reform is needed – certain rules are still subject to abuse and serve little purpose except to further Senate gridlock and partisan obstruction.

This week, a majority of Senators finally confirmed the long-stalled nominations of Patricia Millett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).  Early this morning, a majority of Senators voted to confirm Nina Pillard to the D.C. Circuit.  Each of these confirmations would have been impossible without last month’s Senate reforms. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans have been throwing up new procedural roadblocks to delay Senate business for purely partisan purposes. These obstructionist tactics include:

  • Many nominations are allotted as much as 30 hours of debate each before a final vote must be taken, and Republicans have refused to yield back that time. Far from hiding their obstructionism, Senate Republicans have trumpeted it, staging a talkathon on the Senate floor last night in order to delay Nina Pillard’s official confirmation vote until 1 AM.
  • On Monday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) objected to the common practice of securing unanimous consent to confirm a broad slate of noncontroversial judicial and executive nominees.
  • Republicans recently refused to show up for a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, which denied the committee a quorum for voting on judicial nominees.
  • Republicans blocked the Senate Finance Committee from holding a vote on a new IRS commissioner under an obscure, rarely invoked rule stating that committee meetings cannot be held more than two hours after the Senate begins its day.
  • Some Senators are continuing their refusal to return “blue slips” to signal their consent for judicial nominees from their home states to move forward.   By custom, nominees do not receive a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee until both of their home state Senators return blue slips.  Republican Senators in states such as Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia have withheld blue slips for President Obama’s judicial nominees.

It is clear that last month’s Senate reforms are already helping the Senate to operate more effectively. But it is equally clear that many existing rules are still subject to abuse and serve little purpose except to further Senate gridlock for partisan purposes. We will continue to fight for the creation and passage of new Senate reforms that will make the chamber the fair and functional institution it was meant to be.

For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org

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Why Senate Reform Matters ? Mel Watt Confirmed as FHFA Head

Washington, DC – This afternoon, by a 57-41 margin, a majority of the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).  Fix the Senate Now applauds the Senate for confirming Rep. Watt to this essential position. Today’s confirmation was only possible, however, due to the sensible Senate changes advanced in November.

As Rep. Watt’s hometown Charlotte Observer editorialized this week, “With the wise elimination last month of a much-abused filibuster rule … Senators should confirm his nomination without further delay. The Charlotte Democrat was treated shabbily when Senate Republicans blocked his nomination in October, claiming he was unqualified. Hogwash … Watt can provide the leadership this agency needs. He deserves confirmation.” 

We noted earlier today, when the Senate voted to confirm Patricia Millett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, that it is only through the lens of the dysfunctional Senate norms of recent years that a Senate majority voting to confirm well-qualified nominees represents a significant step forward, rather than an example of the chamber’s basic functioning. 

Yet given the Senate’s recent default obstruction and gridlock, today’s votes do matter: not only are key nominees now confirmed to FHFA and the D.C. Circuit, but today’s proceedings offer a glimpse of how a functional Senate should operate and a reminder of why the topic of Senate reform is so important to the health of our democracy.  We look forward to additional confirmation votes for other qualified nominees in the coming weeks and remain supportive of future efforts to overcome needless Senate gridlock and return the Senate to its functional traditions.

For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org


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Senate Confirmation of Patricia Millett a Major Breakthrough, Thanks to Sensible Senate Changes

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Patricia Millett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, by a 56-38 vote margin.

The following is a statement from Fix the Senate Now:

“Today, a majority of the U.S. Senate provided the necessary votes to confirm an exceedingly qualified nominee to an outstanding judicial vacancy. It is only through the lens of the dysfunctional Senate norms of recent years that Patricia Millett’s confirmation qualifies as a significant step forward for the U.S. Senate.

“Yet today’s confirmation vote is a major breakthrough – and one directly attributable to the sensible Senate changes advanced in November. We thank Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the other reform champions in the Senate Democratic caucus for ensuring that qualified nominees like Patricia Millett can now serve the American people.

“We look forward to additional confirmation votes for other qualified nominees in the coming weeks and remain supportive of future efforts to overcome needless Senate gridlock and return the Senate to its functional traditions.”


For more information or to interview leaders from the Fix the Senate Now coalition, contact Michael Earls at media@fixthesenatenow.org

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