Last night, Republicans in the U.S. Senate stayed up all night to delay a vote on a federal appeals court judge. The vote to approve Judge Nina Pillard happened at 1am, and several other nominations will be considered before the upper chamber leaves for vacation next week. Republicans say that they will delay every vote as long as possible to punish Democrats for the so-called nuclear option, which prevented the filibuster from being used to block certain federal appointments. Because they can no longer completely block the President's nominees for federal courts and agencies, Republicans are determined to use up to 30-hours of debate for each nominee to slow down the process.
Just to put this in perspective, the Senate Republicans did not force all-night debates when considering immigration bills, food stamp cuts, or many other important pieces of legislation. But, they think blocking the President's choice for an appeals court is worth holding up the entire legislative process. This Congress is the least productive in history, because of obstructionist tactics like this – which are more about childish vendettas than about doing the People's business.
We elected this President, and it's his job to appoint qualified people to courts and federal agencies. It's the Senate's job to approve or deny those nominees based on their qualifications, and then get to work on all of the other pressing issues our nation faces. If Republicans in the Senate want to spend all night debating an issue, why don't they make it one that Americans actually care about. Otherwise, they're simply wasting our time and taxpayer dollars to play politics.