A couple weeks ago, when Debo Adegbile’s nomination for the Department of Justice was blocked, the Senate showed that eliminating the filibuster for Executive Branch nominees would not necessarily speed up the process or guarantee confirmation. It seems to be going through the same process again with the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General. Some Democrats, along with their Republican colleagues, are concerned about Dr. Murthy’s views on gun rights, and media outlets are reporting that enough Democrats are opposed to his nomination that it would fail if voted on today. The New York Times reported that an Obama Administration official said that they are “recalibrating” their tactics. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not yet determined when a vote would take place. According to the Times, the Administration is contemplating delaying the vote until more support can be garnered or until after the midterm elections. Or Dr. Murthy could remove his name from consideration.
According to Politico, “the nomination process’s power nucleus has shifted from centrist Republicans to conservative and liberal blocs of the Democratic caucus that can reject a nominee just as easily as the GOP could a few months ago.” Conservative Democrats are objecting to Dr. Murthy’s nomination. Members of the President’s liberal base have opposed a couple of his judicial nominees for being too conservative; left-wing Senators could theoretically scuttle these picks, but it is unclear as of yet whether they would do so.
Politico: Democrats Turn On Obama Nominees
New York Times: Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General
And for our latest post: More Nuclear-Option Fallout: Senate Blocks Presidential Appointment