The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday morning asked that the nomination of openly gay attorney Paul Oetken and three other federal district court nominees be held over indefinitely.
U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) offered no explanation for the request. Such requests, that committee votes on federal court nominees be postponed, has become a routine occurrence at Senate Judiciary Committee meetings. Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has routinely granted the requests.
In addition to Oetken, Grassley requested postponements for Paul Engelmayer, who—like Oetken—is nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan). On paper and during his confirmation hearing, Engelmayer was questioned by the committee about his support, as a pro bono attorney, for same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses in New York. Engelmayer said he understands the difference between being an advocate and being a judge.
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