It's never been at all clear to me why these four were on the fence. Nelson complains that Johnsen is pro-choice, but that's a crazy reason to support a filibuster. Snowe, Collins, and Specter are themselves pro-choice, but remained undecided for unclear reasons.
Now, there appears to be at least signs of progress on Johnsen's nomination. Brian Beutler reports:
Johnsen -- who was nominated in April to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel -- has been spotted around Washington in recent days, and is rumored to have moved in to town. And she's certainly not here to work for Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE).
And what about former Yale Law Dean Harold Koh, nominated by the president to serve as a legal advisor to the State Department, but who can't get an up-or-down vote because Republicans won't let him? There's apparently been some progress on that front, too. David Weigel reports:
A spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tells me that the senator is filing cloture on Harold Koh, the president's nominee for State Department Legal Adviser, "right now." ... There's confidence that Koh has 60 votes -- that's why they're going ahead -- and there's disappointment that it came to this instead of some kind of a deal. "The Republicans would not agree to an up or down vote," said a Reid spokesman. "We had hoped they would not block his nomination and would agree to move him by a regular majority vote." Instead, they're looking at a debate that could last several days.
Confirmation for Koh and Johnsen are long overdue. I'm glad to see some signs of progress.