Holmes nomination still benched

(June 25, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- The U-S Senate is set to recess for the Fourth of July today and it's unlikely it will vote on Little Rock lawyer Leon Holmes' nomination to a federal court seat before the break. That vote was promised by Senate Republicans as a part of a deal with Democrats, but Democratic Senator Mark Pryor is concerned the Republicans are blocking their own nominee. Pryor and Arkansas' other senator, Blanche Lincoln, are both Democrats but they support President Bush's nomination of Holmes. Yesterday, Holmes and Lincoln sent a joint letter to Republican leaders Bill Frist of Tennessee and Orrin Hatch of Utah asking about the delay. Holmes became a political football when Democrats started blocking Bush's judge nominations. Holmes has had some controversial conservative views and many Democrats oppose him. But with Pryor and Lincoln pushing for a vote, some say the Republicans have turned the tables, avoiding a vote on Holmes because his comments about women and rape may have scared away enough moderate Republicans to cost him the nomination. The Senate Judiciary Committee has already made Holmes the first nominee in 52 years to receive no recommendation from the committee.