Republicans call it the "Leahy-Thurmond Rule."
Named after Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who chairs the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, and the late Strom Thurmond, R-SC, the Senate's longest serving senator in history, to the untrained ear it sounds "bipartisan." But that couldn't be further from the truth.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee is the latest Republican to support the rule as a way to block President Barack Obama's judicial nominees, calling it a "historic practice" to prevent judges from confirmation in a presidential election year.
"I am pleased that the Republican caucus has decided to enforce the Leahy-Thurmond rule and cease confirming appeals court nominees until after the presidential election," Sen. Lee said.
Part of the strategy is to prevent President Obama from making recess appointments to fill court vacancies when Congress is not in session.
"It's particularly important that we do so in light of the unconstitutional recess appointment President Obama made earlier this year," Lee said. "The President must be held accountable for his unprecedented and illegitimate assertion that he may unilaterally determine when the Senate is in session."
For his part, Sen. Leahy calls the move "obstruction."
"I have yet to hear any good reason why we should not continue to vote on well-qualified, consensus nominees," Leahy said in a statement released by his office.
The release points out that the Senate voted on nominees up until September ahead of President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004 and during the lame duck session of 2008.
Folks, in case you hadn't noticed, this is an election year and election year politics are in full swing -- from both sides.