Senate confirms Minnesota judge… finally

WASHINGTON — Susan Nelson’s nomination to the federal bench was reported unanimously from committee in June. Yet until late this week, it was anyone’s guess whether she’d get an up-or-down vote in the Senate at all.

Friday night, Nelson was confirmed unanimously to be a district judge for the District of Minnesota.

The Democrat-controlled Senate has confirmed just 49 district and circuit court nominations so far in the Obama presidency, Senate Judiciary Committee officials said — less than half of the number confirmed in the first session of George W. Bush’s administration. Democrats blame GOP obstruction, Republicans note that Dems control the Senate schedule and (after Al Franken finally joined the Senate) had 60 votes to do with what they wanted for about six months.

“These nominations should have been confirmed within days of being reported,” Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy said. “With judicial vacancies at historic highs, we should act on these nominations.”

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