Senate confirms first openly gay appellate judge
In a rare display of competence and cooperation, the US Senate today confirmed Todd Hughes as the first openly gay appellate judge in American history. Hughes had been made to wait for his appointment since February, but ultimately was approved by a vote of 98-0. He is far from the only appointee awaiting a vote, however. Even with Hughes's confirmation, 13 judicial nominees remain outstanding due to Republican slow-pedaling.
Many of those nominees will likely sail to confirmation after their votes in the Senate. But Republicans are holding up the votes, allowing them proceed at a pace of about one to two nominees per week, said a senior Democratic aide.
Before Obama came into office, the Senate used to clear the calendar of non-controversial judicial nominees at the end of every work period, said the aide, but Republicans "won't do that anymore."