Skip to comments.They Said It
Posted on 07/03/2003 9:48:52 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
They Said It
Considering the treatment President Bush's judicial nominees have received from Senate Democrats, I thought you might find it interesting to read what they had to say about the Senate's constitutional duty of "advice and consent" concerning judicial nominations when their president was making nominations. You may have seen these in my daily First Look column this week, but here they are again, for good measure.
--Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.): I hope we will have a chance to vote on them, not just in committee . . . but on the floor of the Senate. That is what the Constitution speaks of in our advice and consent capacity. That is what these good and decent people have a right to expect. That is what our oath of office should compel Members to do - to vote for or against. I do not question the judgment or conscience of any man or woman in this Senate if they vote differently that I do, but vote. (Congressional Record, page S11102, September 21, 1999)
--Sen. Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.): By not filling vacancies, we hamper the judiciary's ability to fulfill its own constitutional duties. . . . This delay makes a mockery of the Constitution, makes a mockery of the fact that we are here working, and makes a mockery of the lives of very sincere people who have put themselves forward to be judges and then they hang out there in limbo. (Congressional Record, page S1211, March 7, 2000)
--Sen. Leahy: Acting to fill judicial vacancies is a constitutional duty that the Senate - and all of its members - are obligated to fulfill. In its unprecedented slowdown in the handling of nominees since the 104th Congress, the Senate is shirking its duty. That is wrong and it should end. (Congressional Record, page S7792, June 29, 1999)
--Sen. Ted Kennedy (D.-Mass.): It is time for the Senate to stop abusing its power over nominations. Over 200 years ago, the Framers of the Constitution created a system of checks and balances to ensure that excessive power is not concentrated in any branch of government. The President was given the authority to nominate federal judges with the advice and consent of the Senate. The clear intent was for the Senate to work with the President, not against him, in this process. (Congressional Record, page S1221, March 7, 2000)
--Sen. Leahy: We must redouble our efforts to work with the President to end the longstanding vacancies that plague the federal courts and disadvantage all Americans. That is our constitutional responsibility. (Congressional Record, page S10544, September 8, 1999)
--Sen. Leahy: There are only 100 of us who are elected to represent a quarter of a billion Americans. . . . Let us not play silly parliamentary games and tell the American people we do not have the guts to vote . . . (Congressional Record, page S1331, March 8, 2000)
--Sen. Jack Reed (D.-R.I.): This is one of our enumerated duties in the Constitution. . . . I ask my colleagues to take their constitutional duty seriously and vote for these nominees on the basis of their objective qualifications, and not on the basis of petty politics. This process is much too important to the citizens of this great democracy to do otherwise. (Congressional Record, page S1356-1357, March 9, 2000)
--Sen. Leahy: One of our most important constitutional responsibilities as United States Senators is to advise and consent on the scores of judicial nominations sent to us to fill the vacancies on the federal courts around the country. I continue to urge the Senate to meet its responsibilities to all nominees. . . . We must redouble our efforts . . . . That is our constitutional responsibility. It should not be shirked. (Congressional Record, page S7532-7534, July 25, 2000)
And Finally. . .
NEVER FORGET: "for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
Have a marvelous Independence Day. I hope you get to light your own fireworks.
Later, Chris Field
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