Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson on Tuesday sent a letter to the White House saying they would support Cohen, a partner at Troutman Sanders, for the 11th Circuit vacancy, and back Pryor, a Bondurant Mixson & Elmore partner, for a vacant post on the district court.
In an eight-line letter to the White House counsel, the senators also resurrected the name of a third candidate, U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker, whose nomination for another district court vacancy was returned to the White House in December at the apparent request of the president's staff. The letter, on Isakson's stationery but signed by both senators, notified White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler that the senators would return "blue slips" to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Cohen for the 11th Circuit and Pryor and Walker for the district court. A blue slip is the Senate's traditional indication that a nominee has received the approval of his or her home state senator. But the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has been vetting Pryor for the 11th Circuit post, according to Fulton County Superior Court Senior Judge Melvin K. Westmoreland.
Meantime, Senators are threatening to stall all appellate appointments over the recess appointment dispute with the President. Even though Judge Jordan has support from both sides of the aisle, such a move would hurt his chances. Apparently, Senator Rubio has said that he is not going to support an across the board rejection of Obama's nominees. For Judge Jordan's sake, I hope that politics don't jam him up.