Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the nomination of Judge Shwartz to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. That nomination can now be taken up by the full Senate.
That is the good news. The bad news is that the vote was 10-6, strictly along party lines. Since this is an election year, there is always the potential that Senators will play politics with the nomination instead of addressing it solely on its merits. Knowledgeable observers in New Jersey, regardless of party affiliation, overwhelmingly believe that Judge Shwartz is highly qualified and should be confirmed. The Senate should take its cue from that and approve the nomination of Judge Shwartz.
Judge Shwartz’s nomination has not, until now, become a poster child for Republican opposition to President Obama, as was the case with the nomination of Goodwin Liu to a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. We can only hope that the party-line vote in the Judiciary Committee does not foreshadow a filibuster or other tactics to defeat this very worthy nominee.