This vote was on the confirmation of Miranda Du’s appointment to the U.S. District Court of Nevada.
President Obama nominated Du for appointment to the court in August 2011, but her 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.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called Du “an experienced litigator and very proud Nevadan.” He noted that Du – who was born in Vietnam but was granted asylum in the United States after her family fled the country in the 1970s – would be the first Asian American to hold a federal judgeship in Nevada.
“I have had the good fortune to be able to forward to presidents about 10 names (for appointment to the federal bench), and I have never been more proud of one than Miranda Du,” Sen. Reid said. “If there were ever a success story, it is this woman who was born in Vietnam, took a boat and wound up in Malaysia, came from Malaysia to America, to Alabama, to California, and is now one of the most respected lawyers we have in the state of Nevada. This is what America is all about.”
Republicans criticized Du’s record, noting a case in which a court concluded that she acted “recklessly.” They also noted that there were some dissenting votes on the American Bar Association committee that rated her as “qualified.”
“While I think Ms. Du's accomplishments are admirable, they are not the basis for evaluating her qualifications to serve as a federal district judge,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said. “The relevant factors for me are her ability and professional competence. In those areas, she does not meet the standards I would consider necessary for a federal judge.”
Miranda Du’s nomination was approved by a vote of 59-39. Voting “yea” were 53 Democrats and 6 Republicans. Voting “nay” were 39 Republicans. As a result, the Senate confirmed Du’s appointment to the U.S. District Court for Nevada.