The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

December 6, 2012
Troy Nunley moves closer to becoming a federal judge
A local judge is one step closer to joining the federal district court centered in Sacramento, but we still don't know what the delay was all about.

On a voice vote today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Troy L. Nunley for the Eastern District of California, which one of the biggest caseloads in the country.

As The Bee's editorial board pointed out last week, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the committee, didn't explain why he put off a vote on Nunley last week. He wasn't any more forthcoming at today's meeting.

Nunley, a former prosecutor, has been a Sacramento Superior Court judge since 2002. President Barack Obama nominated him in June and had his confirmation hearing in September.

His wait still isn't over. It's still unclear whether the full Senate will vote on Nunley during the lame-duck session, before a new Congress takes office in January. Often in recent years, the much longer delay has been between action by the Judiciary Committee and a vote on the Senate floor.   

Along with four other nominees approved by the Judiciary Committee and after two were confirmed by the Senate, that makes 20 nominees awaiting action by the Senate. A dozen, including five from California, would fill judgeships designated as emergencies.

Democrats and liberal advocacy groups are putting the blame on Republicans for obstructing the nominations.

"Those who contend that judicial confirmation votes during lame duck sessions do not take place are wrong," Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. "I urge them to reexamine the false premises for their contentions and I urge the Senate Republican leadership to reassess its damaging tactics. The new precedent they are creating is bad for the Senate, the fderal courts and, most importantly, for the American people."

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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