Capitol Bureau Chief Christopher Keating filed this report from Washington, D.C.
The months-long battle over the judicial nomination of Hartford attorney Michael Shea ended quietly Wednesday when he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, 72-23.
There were only two senators on the floor of the U. S. Senate – Joseph Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal – when the final remarks were delivered on Shea. All other senators had left the chamber before returning later for the vote.
A clash over Shea’s nomination to the U.S. District Court in Connecticut played out on the Senate floor earlier in the day.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, the powerful chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, “Michael Shea is another nominee whose nomination was stalled for no good reason.” Leahy blamed “Republican obstruction” for the delay, saying “they found a new way to employ their own trick of a pocket filibuster.”
But Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the judiciary committee, said: “For those who argue that Republicans have delayed this nomination just to obstruct, that is not the case. I congratulate Mr. Shea on his confirmation.”
The vote came shortly before 6:15 p.m.
For more on the story, see Edmund H. Mahony’s report here.