WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- President George W. Bush moved to break the logjam keeping the U.S. Senate from voting on several of his judicial nominations.
Through a process known as "a recess appointment," Bush placed Mississippi U.S. District Judge Charles Pickering directly onto the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Pickering's nomination is one of several on which the full Senate cannot vote to confirm or reject because of a filibuster by Senate Democrats. Most vote counts indicated Pickering would be confirmed were the Senate allowed to vote on the nomination.
"This step was properly taken by the White House after three long years of delay and liberal character assassination directed at this respected jurist," the Committee for Justice's C. Boyden Gray, a former White House counsel, said.
The president has the authority to appoint individuals to positions requiring Senate confirmation for one year during periods in which the Senate is in recess.
Other Bush nominees being currently blocked include Californians Janice Rogers Brown and Carolyn Kuhl, Priscilla Owen of Texas and Alabama's Bill Pryor. Another nominee, Miguel Estrada, withdrew his name from consideration in late 2003 after waiting two years for the Senate to act on his nomination.