Skip to comments.Democrats Thought it was Improper to Filibuster Judicial Nominees
Posted on 05/19/2005 8:17:55 AM PDT by Peach
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Delaware) March 19, 1997: But I also respectfully suggest that everyone who is nominated is entitled to have a shot, to have a hearing and to have a shot to be heard on the floor and have a vote on the floor.
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois)September 28, 1998: We should meet our responsibility. I think that responsibility requires us to act in a timely fashion on nominees sent before us. ... Vote the person up or down.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) September 11, 1997: Lets bring their nominations up, debate them if necessary, and vote them up or down.
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts)February 3, 1998: We owe it to Americans across the country to give these nominees a vote. If our Republican colleagues dont like them, vote against them. But give them a vote.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) May 10, 2000: The Founding Fathers certainly intended that the Senate advise as to judicial nominations, i.e., consider, debate, and vote up or down. They surely did not intend that the Senate, for partisan or factional reasons, would remain silent and simply refuse to give any advice or consider and vote at all.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) 5/14/97 : It is not the role of the Senate to obstruct the process and prevent numbers of highly qualified nominees from even being given the opportunity for a vote on the Senate floor.
Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD): I find it simply baffling that a Senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination. (Congressional Record, 10/5/99)
Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD): Hispanic or non-Hispanic, African American or non-African American, woman or man, it is wrong not to have a vote on the Senate floor. (Congressional Record, 10/28/99)
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND): My expectation is that were not going to hold up judicial nominations. You will not see us do what was done to us in recent years in the Senate with judicial nominations. (Fox News Special Report With Brit Hume, 6/4/01)
Richard Durbin (D-IL) "If, after 150 days languishing on the Executive Calendar that name has not been called for a vote, it should be. Vote the person up or down." (Cong. Rec., 9/28/98, S11021)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): Lets bring their nominations up, debate them if necessary, and vote them up or down. (Congressional Record, 9/11/97)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): It is our job to confirm these judges. If we dont like them, we can vote against them. (Congressional Record, 9/16/99)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): Our institutional integrity requires an up-or-down vote. (Congressional Record, 10/4/99)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA): [The filibuster process] is used as blackmail for one Senator to get his or her way on something that they could not rightfully win through the normal processes. (Congressional Record, 1/4/95)
Tom Harkin (D-IA) "Have the guts to come out and vote up or down .And once and for all, put behind us this filibuster procedure on nominations." (Cong. Rec., 6/22/95, S8861)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA): I urge the Republican leadership to take the steps necessary to allow the full Senate to vote up or down on these important nominations. (Congressional Record, 9/11/00)
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA): We owe it to Americans across the country to give these nominees a vote. If our Republican colleagues dont like them, vote against them. But give them a vote. (Congressional Record, 2/3/98)
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA): It is true that some Senators have voiced concerns about these nominations. But that should not prevent a roll call vote which gives every Senator the opportunity to vote yes or no. ... Parties with cases, waiting to be heard by the federal courts deserve a decision by the Senate. (Congressional Record, 9/21/99)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI): These nominees, who have to put their lives on hold waiting for us to act, deserve an up or down vote. (Congressional Record, 9/21/99)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): I hope we will accept our responsibility and vote people up or vote them down. If we want to vote against them, vote against them. (Congressional Record, 10/22/97)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): Now, every Senator can vote against any nominee. But it is the responsibility of the U.S. Senate to at least bring them to a vote. (Congressional Record, 10/22/97)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): "I have stated over and over again that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported (Congressional Record, 6/18/98)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): [E]arlier this year I noted how improper it would be to filibuster a judicial nomination. (Congressional Record, 10/14/98)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): [I]f the person is otherwise qualified, he or she gets the vote. Vote them up, vote them down. (Congressional Record, 9/21/99)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): [W]e should have up-or-down votes in the committee and on the floor. (CNNs Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields, 6/9/01)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): [W]e are charged with voting on the nominees. The Constitution does not say if the Congress is controlled by a different party than the President there shall be no judges chosen. (Congressional Record, 3/7/00)
Carl Levin (D-MI) "If a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate is prepared to vote to confirm the President's appointment, that vote should occur." (Cong. Rec., 6/21/95, S8806)
Thank you, thank you very much. [Elvis]
I would suspect its because it would lend legitimacy to the lib's tactics. From these quotes it is apparent that we did the same thing to Clinton's nominee's. We have been presenting these tactics as new and inappropriate tactics by the libs.
The statistics we should be incessantly presenting are the actual vote and confirmation tallies. Rush has been doing this for the last couple of weeks. Clinton, IIRC, around 90%, and the libs still bitched about it in the above quotes. Dubya, 53%.
There's a good reason these quotes aren't being used by the Pubs; they would be a bit counter-productive as the opposition would have a swift and credible reply: "They did it, so we're doing it."
The so-called nuclear option is the absolute best respose to the situation. I suspect (and hope) that Frist realizes this, and GETS IT OVER WITH. One of the good parts of winning elections is getting to have your own way. Its time we had our own way.
< j/k >
In all seriousness, this is great.
I am particularly amused at the Dems' new found commitment to original intent of the Founding Fathers (though there is no mention about the filibuster in the Constitution).
Also amusing is their commitment to keeping the filibuster around for when the Republicans are in the minority with a Dem President calling the shots. Either for lack of courage, or whatever, we NEVER used it on a judge before (and Lord knows we had LOTS of time in the Senate minority) so I have little reason to believe we would do so in the future anyway.
Hypocrites! great list!
To what particular situation(s) are these quotes referring? I didn't think the GOP had ever blocked floor votes on judicial nominees when they were in the minority.
I hate to sound like a wet blanket, but if the dems were arguing in such force against judicial filibusters, doesn't that imply that the Republicans at the time were either using them, or for them?
Quiet down! (;
Peach, thank you for this post. It p*sses me off though that the Bush administration hasn't brought this up. "Banging the drums" for a simple up or down vote while quoting these Senators of yesterday SHOULD surely make headlines. Someone needs to hammer a fist on the podium and state these facts!!!
Actually what this list of quotations could be said to show is that there was once a time when the filibuster saved Republicans from some terrible Democrat justices. We should think carefully before giving up a procedure that might someday save us from a Chief Justice Hillary Clinton.
News flash...Democrats are hypocrits!
Great research, thanks.
The question is why aren't the Republican Senators using this material?
Haven't seen any clips of this stuff by any pro Bush judge group. I don't think Fox News has had these clips on the air.
Where is Sean Hannity, doesn't he have years of Fox tape he can use?
Thanks for that link!
An absolutely GREAT list! I'm in the process of e-mailing each liberal senator on the list with a message including his/her own words. Somehow I don't expect to get any responses from any of them.
Sorry for the deluge of PINGs lately. I did try to go easy on the Newsweek threads.
Media Schadenfreude and Media Shenanigans PING
The only problem is, these dolts will not recall, even when confronted with the evidence, that they EVER held a view contrary to the one the now exclaim.
How can they possibly do this? It's quite simple actually, they have mastered:
DOUBLETHINK: the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. ... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one deniesall this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA): According to the U.S. Constitution, the President nominates, and the Senate shall provide advice and consent. It is not the role of the Senate to obstruct the process and prevent numbers of highly qualified nominees from even being given the opportunity for a vote on the Senate floor. (Sen. Barbara Boxer, Congressional Record, 5/14/97, p. S4420)
Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD): It is worse than that. It is not whether you let the President have his nominees confirmed. You will not even let them be considered by the Senate for an up-or-down vote. That is the problem today. In other words, the other side will not let the process work so these nominees can come before the Senate for judgment. (Sen. Paul Sarbanes, Congressional Record, 3/19/97, p. S2539)
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE): But I also respectfully suggest that everyone who is nominated is entitled to have a shot, to have a hearing and to have a shot to be heard on the floor and have a vote on the floor. (Sen. Joe Biden, Congressional Record, 3/19/97, p. S2540)
Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD): "This so-called supermajority is the Senate's filibuster rule. All of America had a good taste of how the filibuster rule worked in the 103d Congress. It brought work to a full stop. It put into the hands of a minority the power to bargain for, hold hostage, blackmail or simply block anything they wanted. The Constitution is straightforward about the few instances in which more than a majority of the Congress must vote: A veto override, a treaty, and a finding of guilt in an impeachment proceeding. Every other action by the Congress is taken by majority vote. The Founders debated the idea of requiring more than a majority to approve legislation. They concluded that putting such immense power into the hands of a minority ran squarely against the democratic principle. Democracy means majority rule, not minority gridlock." (Sen. Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, 1/30/95, p. S1748)
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA): Nominees deserve a vote. The President and the Senate do not always agree. But we should resolve these disagreements by voting on these nominees--yes or no. (Sen. Ted Kennedy, Congressional Record, 1/28/98, p. S85)
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA): When the Founders wrote the Constitution and gave the Senate the power of advice and consent on Presidential nominations , they never intended the Senate to work against the President, as this Senate is doing, by engaging in a wholesale stall and refusing to act on large numbers of the President's nominees. (Sen. Ted Kennedy, Congressional Record, 9/21/99, S11102)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): They are simply holding up the Presidents appointees because they dont want them to be selected, or they have some other issue and they are trying to hold the nominee hostage. (Sen. Harry Reid, Congressional Record, 4/22/97, p. S3398)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): To delay judicial nominations for months and years and to deny them a vote is wrong. (Sen. Patrick Leahy, Congressional Record, 10/14/98, p. S12578)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL): If, after 150 days languishing in a committee there is no report on an individual, the name should come to the floor. If, after 150 days languishing on the Executive Calendar that name has not been called for a vote, it should be. Vote the person up or down. They are qualified or they are not. (Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressional Record, 9/28/98, p. S S11031)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): I also plead with my colleagues to move judges with alacrity--vote them up or down. But 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. (Sen. Chuck Schumer, Congressional Record, 3/7/00, p. S1211)
Credit a Yahoo poster
Sometimes said as "But that's different"
The motto of the Dem party, and their answer to Every incongruity or U-turn.
If I understand the news reporting on this, the Repubs didn't use or threaten a filibuster with the Clinton appointees, they used a parliamentary tactic of a Senator placing a "hold" on the nominee. Likely the same outcome as the filibuster threat we're seeing now, but not a filibuster, just the same.