With Barack Obama nominating three for the vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court today, the next question is how Republicans will react. They may not do a full blockade — we don’t know yet — but we can see already that they’re planning on a new round of foot-dragging:

A GOP aide to the Judiciary Committee said that it would likely take at least “a couple of months” until the three nominees get a hearing before the committee. Traditionally, the committee’s chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), has only moved forward with hearings on nominees once he has agreement from the panel’s Republicans.

Remember, the game here as all about how much obstruction Republicans can get away with without sparking the nuclear option (in which Dems do away with the filibuster on nominations by simple majority) to shut it down. It looks like their first gambit will be to slow-walk everything. Will that put off a confrontation? Or bring it on?

1. The special election for the New Jersey Senate seat held by Frank Lautenberg will be in October; Nate Silver assesses the timing and what it tells us about the election and the governor.

2. While Harry Enten concludes that Cory Booker is the big winner on the primary and general election dates.

3. Back to the nominations: Brian Beutler makes the case that Mitch McConnell and the Republicans will back off from a full blockade of Barack Obama’s DC Circuit Court of Appeals nominees.

4. A very helpful overview of the fight over these judicial nominees, from Emily Bazelon.

5. Yes — Kevin Drum is absolutely correct about the different incentive structures for Republicans who care about winning elections and enacting policy and the GOP-aligned press which cares about using outrage to boost sales and ratings.

6. Good one from David S. Bernstein on Massachusetts special election Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez — and how avoiding The Crazy still leaves Republican politicians with nothing much to say. (Regular disclosure — yeah, that’s my brother).

7. While the careful dance continues between Gabriel Gomez as independent candidate and Gabriel Gomez as candidate of the national Republican Party, with a coordinated ad “paid for by the NRSC and authorized by the Gomez committee.”

8. And meanwhile, Ed Markey is opening up a larger lead, including a 12-point spread in a New England College poll.

9. Excellent fun from Greg Giroux on Democrats in Rhode Island, a Republican in Hawaii, and other state legislative super-minorities.

10. A nice appreciation of Frank Lautenberg, from Kathleen Geier.

11. Jonathan Chait, brutal in his look at immigration and the conservative war over George W. Bush.

12. Seth Masket makes the case against worrying too much about campaign money.

13. The “breadwinner” wars, featuring your favorite Fox News stars, from E.J. Graff.

14. Digby on the “culture of intimidation” (or not so much).

15. And Alex Massie on “reform” in Britain, and why borrowing some ideas from the US isn’t likely to do much for democracy there.