Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called for a moratorium on judicial nominees during President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, citing a similar pause during former President Clinton’s trial in 1999.
“The president is charged with high crimes and misdemeanors, and the Senate must take seriously its constitutional role in this process,” Harris said in a statement. “During the time when articles of impeachment are before the Senate, it would be wholly inappropriate to advance the president’s nominees to the federal judiciary.”
Harris’s statement notes that between the delivery of the Clinton articles of impeachment to the Senate and the Senate’s verdict on Feb. 12, 1999, the Senate Judiciary Committee did not convene any nomination hearings or advance any nominations to confirmation votes. While Senate committees cannot hold votes during impeachment trials, they are free to hold hearings.
Harris echoed her call for a moratorium in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.
The Senate is receiving the articles of impeachment against President Trump today. We should not advance any more judicial nominees while we take on this solemn responsibility of the president’s trial for high crimes and misdemeanors.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 15, 2020
The Hill has reached out to Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) office for comment.
A spokesperson for the committee told The Hill they would not comment on the specifics of Harris’s statement but noted a markup in the committee scheduled for Thursday.
Author: Zack Budryk
Source: The Hill: Harris calls for judicial nominee freeze during impeachment trial