Friday | February 28, 2003
The GOP HAS filibustered Dem nominees
Reader Chris T sends in the following:
A few quotes from the Congressional Record:
Don't come here on the floor and tell me that if I want to block [these judges], somehow I am going down some new path. I am not going down any new path. I am following the tradition and precedent of this Senate. Those who did that in 1992 had every right to do it under Senate rules and under the Constitution, as I do today and as I intend to do on these nominations.
[Emphasis mine -- kos]
But don't pontificate on the floor of the Senate and tell me that somehow I am violating the Constitution of the United States of America by blocking a judge or filibustering a judge that I don't think deserves to be on the circuit court because I am going to continue to do it at every opportunity I believe a judge should not be on that court. That is my responsibility. That is my advise and consent role, and I intend to exercise it. I don't appreciate being told that somehow I am violating the Constitution of the United States. I swore to uphold that Constitution, and I am doing it now by standing up and saying what I am saying.
Sound familiar? It should. It's substantially the exact same thing that Democrats have been saying for the last three weeks regarding the Miguel Estrada nomination. The only thing is, this quote wasn't profferred by a Democrat in February of 2003. It was uttered by a Republican, Bob Smith of New Hampshire, on March 7, 2000, regarding the nominations of Marcia Berzon and Richard Paez to the Circuit Courts.
Smith went on to say:
The issue, though, is whether it is OK to block judicial nominees. ... There is thinking among some that we should not start down this path of blocking a judicial nominee whom we do not think is a good nominee for the court because it may come back to haunt us at some point when and if a Republican should be elected to the Presidency.Sen. Smith, apparently, is psychic. The issue here, Kos, is that almost exactly three years ago, when we had a Democratic president and a Republican (I believe?) Senate, the Republicans could, and did filibuster judges, forcing the Democrats to acquire 60 votes, effectively, to confirm them.
For them to claim otherwise now is disingenuous at best, and an outright, malicious lie at worst.
On March 9, 2000, after cloture had been invoked in the nomination of Richard Paez to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), filed this motion:
Mr. President, I move, in a postcloture environment, to postpone indefinitely the nomination of Richard Paez in order for this body to get the answers I believe every Senator deserves with regard to the concerns I have raised about Judge Paez over the last several days.The upshot is that Senate Democrats had broken the Republican filibuster (so named by Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH)), and Sessions tried to extend it even so, foreclosing any debate on the notion for more than three weeks. The motion died as there was no second.
Posted February 28, 2003 08:07 AM | Comments (88)