US Senate Republicans have blocked the president’s nomination of Louis Butler for a federal judgeship in the western half of Wisconsin. Butler, a former State Supreme Court justice, was one of seven federal nominees who failed to win Senate approval before the end of the year. The GOP minority pulled a procedural maneuver and sent the appointments back to President Obama.
Butler has been criticized by Republicans for being a liberal activist judge. And some said he doesn’t deserve a lifetime federal post after being rejected twice by Wisconsin voters in losing a pair of Supreme Court elections in the last decade. Butler refused comment and referred all questions to the White House which also didn’t say anything. Obama can re-submit his nominations next month. But if a single senator objects, they would be put on hold until 60 votes can be rounded up for their approval.
Butler was one of two federal judge nominees who were blocked. The other was Edward Chen in northern California. Three Justice Department appointees were also blocked, along with nominees for the National Labor Relations Board and an Army brigadier general’s post.