On Dec. 10, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) argued against confirming Lawrence VanDyke to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Doing so, he said, would depart from “bedrock principles that once guided the exercise of the Senate’s constitutional duty to advise and consent” on the president’s nominations. Blumenthal neglected to mention some important information that puts his criticisms in a very different light.
First, Blumenthal said that Van Dyke does not have the support of his home state senators. He failed to explain that, while such support has long been critical for nominees to the U.S. District Court, it is less important for appellate court nominees such as Van Dyke. The reason is obvious. Judicial districts do not extend beyond the borders of a single state, while appeals court circuits include multiple states.
Blumenthal also said nothing about his own voting record. This year alone, he has voted against nearly three dozen district court nominees, each of whom was supported by both home state senators.