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  Quiet deal on Obama's judge nominees in the Senate
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ContributorScottĀ³ 
Last EditedScottĀ³  Dec 25, 2010 07:42am
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AuthorDAVID ESPO
MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateMonday, December 20, 2010 01:00:00 PM UTC0:0
Description"After a monthslong blockade, Senate Republicans have agreed to let at least 19 of President Barack Obama's non-controversial judicial nominees win confirmation in the waning days of the congressional session in exchange for a commitment by Democrats not to seek votes on four others, according to officials familiar with the deal.

Among the four is Goodwin Liu, a law school dean seen as a potential future Supreme Court pick, whose current nomination to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has sparked strong criticism from Republicans.

As part of the arrangement, the Senate has approved 10 judges in the past few days without a single dissenting vote. One of them, Albert Diaz, had been awaiting confirmation to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., since clearing the Judiciary Committee in January.

The agreement was worked out between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, with the knowledge of the White House, officials said. Spokesmen for the two Senate leaders declined comment.

In the talks, Reid also pushed for confirmation for James Cole, whom Obama picked last spring for the No. 2 post in the Justice Department. His nomination to be deputy attorney general is opposed by Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, and its fate is unclear."
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