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Republicans invoke two-hour rule to scuttle hearing on judicial nominees

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Republicans invoke two-hour rule to scuttle hearing on judicial nominees

Dec 19, 2013, 02:38 pm CST

Republican senators invoked the so-called two-hour rule on Wednesday to force postponement of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on five nominees to the federal bench.

The rule requires the consent of all senators when meetings are scheduled to begin more than two hours after the Senate convenes for the day, the Portland Press Herald reports. A story by the Huffington Post calls the move “payback” for filibuster reform. The Atlantic and Roll Call also have coverage.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., issued a statement that criticized the meeting cancellation. It included what the Huffington Post saw as a veiled threat to change the “blue slip rule” that allows senators to veto judicial nominees from their home state.

“If this obstruction continues with respect to judicial nominees,” Leahy said, “I will be forced to reconsider long-held policies that have upheld the rights of the minority party in this process.”

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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