The Sun Journal editorial “Withholding confirmation” (July 14) eloquently explained how defendants and plaintiffs will suffer from the June 13 decision by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to block every appeals court nominee.

That even applies to consensus nominees whom the Judiciary Committee had previously approved: Maine’s William Kayatta for the First Circuit, Richard Taranto for the Federal Circuit, and Robert Bacharach, a Tenth Circuit nominee who is strongly supported by his very conservative Oklahoma home state Republican senators.

Election-year slowdowns have never prevented floor votes on consensus nominees like these. Unfortunately, the editorial missed that critical difference when it calls McConnell’s unprecedented across-the-board blockade a “routine move to block judicial appointments, which is seen in both parties . . . ”

Indeed, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said McConnell’s action was “stupid,” and that Bacharach would make a great Tenth Circuit nominee for a Republican president.

Maine GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins said they would vote to end any filibuster of Kayatta’s nomination to fill Maine’s only seat on the six-judge appeals court. They could succeed by working with Oklahoma’s senators and others, including those who provided the 60 votes Arizona Republican Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain needed on June 11 to end a filibuster of their home-state judge Andrew Hurwitz.

Glenn Sugameli, Washington, D.C., staff attorney, Judging the Environment, Defenders of Wildlife

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