While the delays in the vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court drew widespread attention, other, much longer, delays in confirming nominations by President Trump have gone largely unnoticed.
Two key posts at the State Department, for example, remain unfilled 15 months after Trump named his nominees.
Finally, shortly after the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh on Saturday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., filed for cloture on nominations for two assistant attorney general positions, noted Powerline blogger Paul Mirengoff.
Eric Dreiband is Trump’s choice to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and Jeff Clark is his pick to head the Environmental and Natural Resources Division.
Mirengoff said the Democrats “bitterly oppose Eric and Jeff because both are strong conservatives who know what they are doing.”
“As such, they have the ability to steer these two key bastions of Justice Department leftism in a direction consistent with the views of the current president,” he wrote. “That’s how it’s supposed to work in a democracy.”
David Lat, writing at Above the Law, pointed out many other positions that remained open in the Justice Department because of confirmation delays.
He noted Democrats have refused to cooperate by requiring 30 hours of “debate” on every nominee, no matter how uncontroversial.
Lat acknowledged that confirming court of appeals judges took precedence over confirming Dreiband and Clark, noting the lifetime tenure of judges means their influence will extend far beyond the Trump administration.
Dreiband and Clark were both nominated in June 2017. Clark’s nomination was first sent to the Senate floor on Aug. 3, 2018, more than a year ago. Clark’s nomination reached the Senate floor two months later.