judge edward chen moves forward in confirmation process

Fourth time's a charm? Today in Washington, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended Judge Edward M. Chen for a federal judgeship. Again. Members of the committee voted 10-8 on a party line vote, with all Democrats voting in support of Judge Chen's nomination and all Republicans opposing: New hope for stalled S.F. judicial nominee.

President Obama first nominated Chen to the U.S. District Court in August 2009. Facing Republican opposition, Democratic leaders have not brought him up for a Senate floor vote, and Obama has renominated him twice. This time, he could actually have a shot, with a glimmer of hope coming from his most outspoken Republican opponent:
Chen's chief sponsor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Thursday she had spoken three times with Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., "virtually pleading for a vote on the floor." Sessions, formerly the committee's ranking Republican member, replied that the nomination had been caught up in a partisan dispute.

"I'm of the view that if he's moved out of committee again, he should get a vote at some point," Sessions said.

In past hearings, Sessions has described Chen as "outside the mainstream" and suffering from "the ACLU chromosome." Sessions' own nomination for a judgeship died in 1986 after the Judiciary Committee heard testimony that he had referred to the ACLU and the NAACP as "un-American" and "communist-inspired."

Feinstein called Sessions' comments Thursday "a step forward."
Judge Chen has waited longer than any other judicial nominee for a confirmation vote. Isn't it about friggin' time the full Senate finally takes up his confirmation and hold a vote? He is an exceptional nominee with a long record of service and has proven himself as a valuable legal mind. No more delays.

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