End to DOJ nominee stalemate?

Could an end to the stalemate between President Bush and Congress over Justice Department appointees be near?

That’s what some folks are saying after yesterday’s confirmation of Chicago federal judge Mark R. Filip as Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s second-in-command at the DoJ.

Apparently the confirmation of Filip – whose nomination had once been put on hold by Sen. Dick Durbin over Mukasey’s refusal to label waterboarding as torture – came after White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten had a chat with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Senate aide told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said the two sides reached an understanding to work on a procedural change that might clear the way for stalled nominations.

“We look forward to working constructively with the Senate majority leader to ensure that all Republican and Democratic nominees receive fair consideration and swift confirmation,” she said.

Several Justice posts have remained vacant since former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned amid controversy over nine fired U.S. attorneys.

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