Senate Republicans have been slow-walking President Barack Obama's judicial nominees all year. It looks like things are about to get even less productive. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that he doesn't expect to confirm any of Obama's circuit court nominees for the remainder of his time in office, a blow to White House efforts to fill empty federal court seats despite working with a Republican-controlled Senate.
This isn't about the specific nominees. Mostly, this is just an expression of contempt for the man in the Oval Office -- and, really, contempt for the Constitution and the senators' oath of office. It is the Senate's duty to defeat judicial nominees it believes (within reason) are outside the mainstream, and it absolutely should exercise the leverage it is given by the Constitution to secure influence over executive branch departments and agencies through confirmations. That's not what's happening here. McConnell and the Republicans are undermining the constitutional order by simply ignoring their responsibilities. That's a big deal, and the press and anyone who cares about a functional government should be angry.