A group of 10 organizations, including the NAACP, added their voice this week to the chorus urging Congress for a confirmation vote for Donna Murphy, a nominee for an associate judge spot on District of Columbia Superior Court.
In a letter to Senate leadership, the groups say Murphy's nomination "should not be a matter of controversy." The letter also points out that Murphy has served in four presidential administrations and was approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by voice vote more than a year ago.
"We strongly urge that her nomination move forward and ask that the Senate Leadership schedule her nomination for a final confirmation vote," states the letter, also signed by the AFL-CIO, National Bar Association and People For the American Way.
But it appears politics will hold up a confirmation until at least November.
When Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) took the Senate floor last month and asked for an up-or-down full Senate vote on Murphy's nomination, Republican leaders said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) "has some concerns about this nomination." That is enough to stop the vote unless Democratic leaders try to force a vote through the cloture procedure.
And then, on Wednesday, DeMint told Roll Call that he believes confirmation votes for all remaining executive branch appointees like Murphy should be put off until after the Nov. 6 elections. The Senate is out for summer recess until Sept. 7, anyway.
Murphy isn't Obama's first D.C. Superior Court nominee to face a hold from DeMint. DeMint previously delayed a vote on the nomination of Judge Marisa Demeo, who was confirmed in April 2010, almost a year after she was nominated. At the time, DeMint expressed concerns about Demeo's "history of leftist activism."
DeMint has not made any public statement about why he opposes Murphy.
Lieberman has acknowledged a portion of Murphy's work has brought some criticism. Her work at the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division includes investigations of allegations of police misconduct. But he said a committee staff investigation found "no evidence to support the charge that she would be negative to police."
The Senate received letters of support for Murphy from leading police officials. She has worked for the Civil Rights Division since 1990 on a variety of cases, including voting rights, discrimination in credit, housing and public accommodations and allegations of police misconduct.