As the Senate wraps up business in the last week before its traditional month-long summer recess, the Senate Republican leadership has voiced plans to bring several contentious judicial nominations to the floor for a vote.
Senate Republicans are expected to file a cloture motion today on William Pryor, President Bush’s extremist right-wing nominee to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, according to CongressDaily. Pryor’s nomination, which could be blocked by a Senate filibuster, could come to the floor for a vote on Wednesday. “We’re ready to go,” Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told CongressDaily. “I think the majority leader is ready to go.” Pryor was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee just last week in a party-line vote.
On Friday, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, filed a third cloture motion on Priscilla Owen, President Bush’s far-right nominee to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Senate Democrats have held a filibuster on Owen since April, despite two attempts by Senate Republicans to break that filibuster with a cloture vote.
Currently a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Owen was rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee last year for her consistently anti-women’s rights and anti-workers’ rights rulings. Despite this, Bush renominated Owen after the Republicans won control of the Senate in the 2002 elections.