The likelihood of Monroe County Court Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr.’s nomination for a federal judgeship being held over until at least after the November elections is increasing.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Thursday blocked a proposed consent agreement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on 17 nominations, including Judge Geraci’s, one of 12 judicial emergencies.
“I am happy to work with the majority leader, but we cannot allow the majority to jam us here at the end of this session, therefore I object,” McConnell said.
Judge Geraci is being considered for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to fill a vacancy created in Rochester by the March 2009 elevation of Judge David G. Larimer to senior status.
Glenn Sugameli, head of Judging the Environment’s judicial nominations project in Washington, D.C., said there is still a possibility the Senate could agree to confirm some or all of the nominees before it recesses until after Election Day, Nov. 6.
Fourteen of the pending nominees, including Judge Geraci, were approved by voice vote by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and have the support of their state senators.
“This is not the first time we have seen obstruction for obstruction’s sake over non-controversial, consensus nominees to the federal bench,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., speaking Thursday from the Senate floor. “It has been going on for four years.”
He noted Judge Geraci has “total bipartisan support” and that his nomination has been pending for more than two months; it was reported by the committee July 19.
If the Senate fails to confirm Judge Geraci’s nomination this year, it will be returned to the president for consideration to be presented to the 113th Congress, which convenes in January.