Bacharach confirmed to Tenth Circuit after waiting more than 250 days

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Feb 26, 2013

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Judge Robert Bacharach to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Monday.

Bacharach, who previously served as a U.S. magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, waited 263 days for a Senate floor vote.

President Barack Obama first nominated Bacharach to the Tenth Circuit in January 2012.

In July, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed for cloture on the judge's nomination. A cloture vote held on July 30 failed by a vote of 56-34 with three senators voting present, including both of Bacharach's home state senators, Tom Coburn and James Inhofe, both Republicans.

On Jan. 2, Bacharach's nomination was returned to Obama due to the sine die adjournment of the Senate.

A day later, he was re-nominated to the same office by the President.

On Feb. 7, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee reported his nomination to the floor by voice vote.

On Monday, the Senate confirmed Bacharach's nomination by a vote of 93-0. He is currently awaiting his commission.

Bacharach will fill a seat that has been open since July 2010, when Robert Henry stepped down to become president of Oklahoma City University.

White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, in a blog post on Bacharach's confirmation late Monday, said the judge's situation -- waiting more than 250 days to be confirmed -- is "not a unique case."

"On Feb. 13, the Senate confirmed William Kayatta for the First Circuit from Maine. His nomination languished for 300 days, yet he was easily confirmed with 88 Senators supporting him," she noted.

Next up is lawyer Richard Taranto for the Federal Circuit, whose nomination similarly has been pending for 333 days, Palmieri said.

"To put this obstruction in some perspective, the average wait time for President George W. Bush's federal appellate judicial nominees, from committee vote to confirmation, at this point in his presidency was 35 days," she wrote.

"By contrast, the average wait time for President Obama's federal appellate judicial nominees has been 147 days."

As of Monday, there are 14 judicial nominees pending before the Senate, most of whom were approved by the judiciary committee unanimously and several of whom would fill judicial emergency seats. An additional 21 nominees are pending in the judiciary committee.

"The Senate should move to confirm all of the judicial nominees pending before it," Palmieri wrote. "These nominees deserve immediate consideration by the full Senate, and the interest of justice demands it."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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