"We'll do audacious executive action over the course of the rest of the year, I'm confident of that," promised Barack Obama's chief of staff. Given the president's unlawful unilateral actions, there is no reason to doubt that promise. Despite those promises and growing opposition from within their own conference, Senate Republican leaders continue to confirm federal judges nominated by President Obama.
On Wednesday, senators will be asked to vote in favor of John Michael Vazquez of New Jersey.
Vazquez was recommended for nomination by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). Few would be surprised to learn he donated thousands of dollars to both Menendez and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), but even fewer would contend Mr.Vazquez would lift a finger to rein in this president's executive overreach.
The growing apprehension surrounding Obama's judicial nominees was on display during last week's vote to confirm Wilhelmina Wright. CQ Roll Call provided the following recap:
The Republican-controlled chamber eventually did confirm Judge Wilhelmina Wright to be a U.S. district judge in Minnesota Tuesday, but the 58-36 vote belied tension on the floor as "no" votes piled up from GOP leaders and the rank and file, amid Heritage Action for America's announcement it would hold senators accountable if they voted for her.
On Tuesday evening, the vote stalled at 39 "yeses" as senators straggled in. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who had spoken to a nearly empty chamber in support of Wright that afternoon, started circulating around the GOP side of the aisle.
Klobuchar started to look worried.
She huddled with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who nodded, got the attention of the clerk, and changed his vote from "no" to "yes." More Republican "yes" votes streamed in.
Our system of government requires each branch to jealously guard its prerogatives, and President Obama routinely tramples over the legislature's prerogatives. Senators should not stand by idly for the next 12 months. They must act to reassert their constitutional prerogatives.
Moving forward, Heritage Action will continue to oppose all judicial nominees and reserve the right to key vote against any and all judicial nominees retroactively.
Heritage Action: Stop Confirming Obama's Judicial Nominees (Jan. 11)
Politico: Conservatives: No more Obama nominees (Jan. 12)
Heritage Action's Congressional Boarding Pass (Jan. 13)
Daily Signal: Obama Judicial Nominee Who Accused Reagan of 'Bigotry' Faces Confirmation Vote (Jan. 14)
Heritage Action Memo: Fight Obama's Overreach by Refusing to Confirm Nominees (Jan. 15)
Heritage Action Key Vote: "NO" on Nomination of Wilhelmina Wright (January 19)