GOP Blocks Obama Nominees, Hopes to Reduce D.C. Court Size

Senate Republicans yesterday blocked President Barack Obama’s picks of Patricia Millett to become a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Rep. Melvin Watt, D-North Carolina, to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, prompting Democrats to threaten curtailing the GOP's ability to derail nominations. The defeats immediately subjected Democratic leaders to pressure from liberal groups and newer Democratic senators to change Senate rules that let the minority — currently Republicans — force the majority to muster 60 votes on controversial nominations, instead of a simple majority. WKRN News 2 has more from the Associated Press. A Republican-sponsored bill would also eliminate three seats on the D.C. Circuit Court, reducing the total number of authorized judgeships from 11 to eight. Learn more from Gavel Grab.