Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is keeping the heat on Senator Pat Toomey over the mind-boggling delay of the nomination of Judge L. Felipe Restrepo to the Third Circuit. In this statement earlier this week on federal judicial nominations, Leahy singled out the Restrepo delay — 348 days and counting, and compared it with the 183 days it took Democrats to confirm Bush nominee Judge Thomas Hardiman:
One of those vacancies is an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Pennsylvania. Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo is nominated to fill the vacancy and he has strong bipartisan support from his home state Senators, Senator Toomey and Senator Casey. At Judge Restrepo’s hearing, Senator Toomey stated that “there is no question [Judge Restrepo] is a very well qualified candidate to serve on the Third Circuit” and underscored the fact that he recommended that the President nominate Judge Restrepo. Once confirmed, Judge Restrepo will be the first Hispanic judge from Pennsylvania to ever serve on this court and only the second Hispanic judge to serve on the Third Circuit.
There is absolutely no reason to delay a vote on Judge Restrepo’s confirmation, and yet his nomination has been pending on the floor for over three months. Since he was first nominated, Judge Restrepo’s nomination has been pending for a staggering 348 days. The National President for the Hispanic National Bar Association, which strongly supports Judge Restrepo’s nomination, wrote last week in the HuffingtonPost about the inexcusable delay in his confirmation. I ask unanimous consent to include a copy of this article in the Record at the conclusion of my remarks.
Contrast Senate Republican’s treatment of Judge Restrepo with President Bush’s nominee to the Third Circuit, Judge Thomas Hardiman, who was nominated in the last two years of the Bush presidency. Judge Hardiman was confirmed in nearly half the time Judge Restrepo has been waiting, taking only 183 days from nomination to his confirmation. Furthermore, it took only 7 days for Judge Hardiman to receive a confirmation vote once he was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judge Restrepo has been pending on the floor for 109 days – 15 times longer than Judge Hardiman. I hope the Republican Senator from Pennsylvania will implore his leadership to bring this highly qualified nominee up for a vote without further delay.
And two earlier pieces of note:
Huffpost post by the president of the Hispanic National Bar Association