Friday, September 18, 2020

NEW: U.S. Senate Moves To Confirm Tucson Judge, In Topsy-Turvy Battle

(This was initially published on our sister site, Arizona's Law.)

UPDATE 9/23, 1:45pm: Judge John Hinderaker was CONFIRMED by the U.S. Senate this afternoon, on a 70-27 vote. As expected, the vote was topsy-turvy, with almost all of the opposition to President Trump's nomination coming from Republican Senators. Both of Arizona's Senators voted "aye". (See below for statement.) 

This is a developing story and will be updated as warranted.

(UPDATE 9/23, 11am: This morning's cloture vote confirms the topsy-turvy nature of the Hinderaker nomination. Republicans cast 22 of the 26 votes against moving forward on the nomination, and Democrats' votes contstituted 42 of the 71 aye votes.)

(UPDATE 9/23, 9:35am: The Senate voted 71-26 this morning to close debate on the Hinderaker nomination. The vote to confirm him will take place this afternoon.)

President Donald Trump's nomination of Tucson Judge John Hinderaker to the District Court bench heads to the Senate floor on Monday after topsy-turvy behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

The Pima County Superior Court jurist was nominated for the lifetime position nearly one year ago. It has been stalled since March, after the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended his confirmation on a 16-6 vote. However, the six "no" votes all came from Republican Senators, apparently led by Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and concerns regarding the Second Amendment. Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed the cloture motion to move it to the floor.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) tells Arizona's Law that she is "pleased" to see the nomination moving to the vote next week. “Judge Hinderaker brings to the bench a wealth of legal knowledge, decades of litigation experience, and a stellar reputation for integrity and fairness. I’m pleased the White House worked with me to advance his nomination.”

If Hinderaker is confirmed next week, it will mean that Arizona's District Court bench will be at full strength for the first time in recent memory. Arizona's Senators did introduce a bill to increase the size of the Arizona bench, but it has not moved forward.

(thanks to Judicial Nominations Blog for the heads-up)

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