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Senate Judiciary Committee scraps votes on judges because of Flake

Sen. Jeff Flake's ...

Posted: Dec 6, 2018 5:07 AM
Updated: Dec 6, 2018 5:07 AM

Sen. Jeff Flake's vow to block judicial nominees is significantly disrupting the Senate Judiciary Committee's plans to advance more of President Donald Trump's picks for the lower courts.

The committee's chairman, Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, scrapped a Thursday meeting, according to an announcement from the committee. A Grassley aide cited the reason as Flake not backing off his threat to vote against all pending nominees until he gets a floor vote on a bill to protect special counsels like Robert Mueller from political interference. This is the second meeting in consecutive weeks the committee has scrapped, delaying 22 nominees from floor consideration by the end of the year.

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That's because with Arizona Republican opposed to the nominees, they are unlikely to win a favorable vote in committee given that the GOP has a one-seat advantage on the panel. If they are not confirmed by year's end, the White House will have to renominate them next year.

On Wednesday, Flake stood by his commitment to not vote for judicial nominees until the Mueller bill gets a vote.

"We can have the markup, I will just vote no," Flake told CNN.

Flake made his promise to block Trump judicial nominees last month following Trump's decision to fire then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replace him with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, an outspoken critic of Mueller's investigation.

Installing conservative judges throughout the nation's judiciary branch has been a marquee promise of both Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who has consistently worked to approve conservative nominees through his chamber.

Given the GOP's narrow 51-49 Senate majority, Flake has also played a part in sinking Trump's nominees on the Senate floor -- most notably Thomas Farr, a nominee to be a US district judge in North Carolina who was accused of disenfranchising African-American voters. South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott joined Flake in opposing Farr's nomination last month, effectively ending that nomination.

This story has been updated to reflect additional developments.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
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Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
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