Rakim H.D. Brooks in The Hill: What a 51–49 Senate means for judicial nominations


Rakim H.D. Brooks

This excerpt is from a piece that originally ran on December 12, 2022.

One of the biggest obstacles to confirming judges the past two years has been the procedural hurdles created by an evenly split Senate. With an even number from both parties on the Senate Judiciary Committee, several nominees have received deadlocked votes in committee. Confirming these nominees required extra procedural votes called discharge petitions, which extended how long those confirmations took.  

These narrow votes further compounded the challenge of attendance issues. With every Senate Republican prepared to vote against some nominees, every Senate Democrat had to be present to ensure the confirmation could go through. In some cases, Vice President Harris also had to be present to break tie votes. This equated to less time for votes. Having a Democratic majority running the Judiciary Committee will likely eliminate the need for future discharge petitions. The majority in the full Senate will likewise create a cushion making it easier to guarantee votes will be successful.

Read the complete piece.