Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday night filed a motion to cut off debate on David Ogden’s nomination to be deputy attorney general, a move that could produce a vote by the end of the week.
The Senate has been consumed with an increasingly onerous $410 billion omnibus spending bill, and until it moves through the Senate, Ogden's nomination will take a back seat. The Senate probably won't get to a cloture vote on Ogden until Wednesday, unless Republicans and Democrats can agree on a debate schedule before then. Failing that, Reid's petition to cut off debate needs the support of 60 senators, but even a single senator can hold the floor and delay Ogden's vote by another 30 hours if the cloture vote succeeds. That would push a vote on Ogden's nomination to Thursday at the earliest.
Last week Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said he disappointed that Ogden's nomination was being held up by Republicans, though he did not elaborate. The Vermont Democrat used the word "filibuster" during a hearing last Thursday. A spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the two sides disagree on how much time to allot for debate on Ogden’s nomination
Ogden, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, has faced opposition from social conservatives for representing clients such as Playboy in First Amendment cases. The Judiciary Committee endorsed him by a vote of 14 to 5 last month, and with 58 Democrats in the Senate, there would appear to be enough votes to end debate.