Friday, November 30, 2012
Committee Vote on Judicial Nominees Postponed
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday postponed votes on five of President Obama’s judicial nominees, including Sacramento Superior Court Judge Troy S. Nunley.
Committee Republicans took advantage of procedural rules that allow them to delay nominations the first time they are scheduled for a vote.
The delay did not sit well with liberal advocacy groups, which have accused Republicans of violating committee tradition by holding up non-controversial nominations solely for the purpose of slowing down the confirmation process.
The current nominees, they noted, had confirmation hearings back in September.
People for the American Way was harshly critical of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who is the ranking minority member of the committee and whom the group blamed for the delay:
“Sen. Grassley has chosen to put petty partisan politics over the wellbeing of our federal courts and the wishes of his constituents,” Marge Baker, the organization’s executive vice president said in a statement. “Because they take place in committee, Grassley’s delaying tactics usually go under the radar, but that does not make them any less harmful. Grassley and his party are delaying these nominees just for the sake of delay. At a time when federal courts are struggling to meet the needs of Americans, that is simply irresponsible.”
President Obama nominated Nunley to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on June 25, shortly before Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr., whom Nunley would succeed, took senior status.
Nunley has served on the Sacramento court since 2002. He previously served as a state deputy attorney general from 1999 until 2002, was a deputy district attorney in Alameda County from 1991 to 1994 and in Sacramento County from 1996 to 1999, and was a sole practitioner in between.
He is a graduate of St. Mary’s College and Hastings College of the Law.
Also delayed yesterday were the nominations of:
•Magistrate Judge Sheri Polster Chappell of the Middle District of Florida, to be a district judge there;
•Katherine Polk Failla, chief of the Criminal Appeals Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, to be a district judge for the Southern District of New York;
•Pamela Ki Mai Chen, a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, to be a district judge for the Eastern District of New York; and
•Mark A. Barnett, a Commerce Department attorney since 1995 and currently deputy chief counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel for Import Administration, to be a judge of the Court of International Trade.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company