Senate Republicans are at it again, blocking yet another Obama nomination to the key U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Monday. Robert L. Wilkins is the third straight nominee to the influential court to be blocked by Republicans, the Associated Press reports.
According to the AP, Wilkins is a district court judge in Washington, D.C., who was confirmed in 2010 by voice vote. However, with this nomination Democrats managed to secure only 53 votes to end the Republican delays, seven votes short of what is required to advance the nomination.
Needless to say, the president was not too thrilled with this development, which must seem like déjà vu by now.
“Four of my predecessor's six nominees to the D.C. Circuit were confirmed," Obama said in a statement, according to AP. "Four of my five nominees to this court have been obstructed. When it comes to judicial nominations, I am fulfilling my constitutional responsibility, but Congress is not."
Obama called the obstruction "unprecedented" and slammed Congress for not fulfilling its constitutional responsibility. The president also took a shot at Senate Republicans, accusing them of "standing in the way of a fully functioning judiciary that serves Americans," the Associated Press reports.
After Wilkins' block, some Democrats called for changes in Senate rules to make it harder for the GOP to block their nominations. Patience is wearing thin in the chamber, and frustrations are high.
"This kind of delay for the sake of delay, this kind of treating this president different from other presidents, that is why there's momentum toward a change in our rules," Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said.
Democrats believe that Republicans have been undermining the president, not because they fundamentally oppose his nominations or the views of these nominations, but because they do not want Obama to have any more appointments to the powerful court, viewed as being second only to the Supreme Court.
Just last week the Republicans successfully blocked Cornelia Pillard from taking a seat in the same court, also sparking the ire of Democrats.