Two nominees to the Bay Area federal bench have been sidetracked by the presidential election season.
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked votes on 17 federal judge nominations before adjourning for the fall session, ensuring that those judgeships will not be filled before the November election.
The move torpedoes the nominations of San Francisco lawyer William Orrick III and Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Tigar, at least for the time being.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved both Orrick and Tigar's nominations earlier this year, but the Senate Republican move Thursday deprived them of a chance for a full floor vote and confirmation.
Federal judge nominations often stall as presidential elections near. President Barack Obama, if re-elected, can renominate Orrick and Tiger in the next Congress. The White House nominated Orrick and Tigar on the recommendation of Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Orrick, the son of a late federal judge, has been a deputy attorney general the past three years, previously working in a major San Francisco law firm. Tigar has been an Alameda County judge since 2002.
Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz