This vote was on the nomination of Jesse M. Furman to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
President Obama nominated Furman for appointment to the court in June 2011, but his confirmation was delayed as part of a larger disagreement over nominations between Senate Republicans and the White House. While Senate Republicans were in the minority, they had enough members to use Senate rules to delay nominations indefinitely, and they had used this power to block many of President Obama’s nominations.
Republicans objected to Furman’s appointment on the grounds that he was too liberal. They also cited President Obama’s use of a maneuver to make appointments that bypassed the Senate confirmation process as a reason to hold up nominees.
“Generally, I am willing to give the President's nominees the benefit of the doubt,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said. “But as I indicated over the past few weeks, we are not operating under normal circumstances. The atmosphere the President has created with his disregard for Constitutional principles has made it difficult to give his nominees any benefit of the doubt. Given that I did have some doubts about Mr. Furman’s record, I oppose his confirmation.”
Democrats noted that Furman’s nomination had received support from members of both political parties. They argued that Republicans had mischaracterized Furman’s record and were dragging on the confirmation process at the expense of the justice system.
“He is truly a moderate. He could be nominated just as easily in the grand tradition of judicial integrity by someone from this side of the aisle or that side of the aisle,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said of Furman. “If we cannot approve Mr. Furman and have a close-to-unanimous vote on him, I do not know on whom we can because he is an excellent, thoughtful, and moderate judge.”
The nomination of Jesse Furman was confirmed by a vote of 62-34. Voting “yea” were 52 Democrats and 10 Republicans. Voting “nay” were 34 Republicans. As a result, Furman was confirmed to the U.S. District Court.