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)
Sarcasm aside, I'm sure this is their claim if someone brings it up. After all, according ABC News, the Republicans were the ones filibustering against civil rights.
I saved that and several more to a word document for a fast backup to the search feature.
I'll reply to myself ... I managed to get my browser working and I did check one quote which is a little out of context (it's about secret holds not filibusters) but the basic idea is the same.
Oh, those pesky facts. The MSM is not interested
So, he is making the argument to get all of the nominees out of committee. That could be the next battle, it certainly is a different battle from getting votes on nominees now on the floor.
It looks like it's all from the Congressional Record of the late 90s. Pretty unimpeachable source...
I started doing that way back when, and have several word files just for FR. That is much eaiser to work with and I can find most within minutes.
Thought it would be a good idea to put them all together.
Good job! This makes the point so effectively. I hope Rush, Fox and others pick this up, since we know we'll never hear it anywhere else.
I'm so glad you reminded me about that option; I'm going to start saving stuff there instead of Favorites.
It's a much smarter way to do it.
Ping! Thanks I've been looking for these!!!!
If so, what ammunition!!
The list was gathered from several conservative news organization's articles and freepers have compiled the entire list which details the date and where the comments were made.
I haven't independently verified the list, but unless 3-4 conservative news organizations are all using the same lies, then I'm assuming it's correct.
Also, we have enough media and trolls who visit here that if the list was incorrect, we'd be told by now. LOL
Most of them come straight out of the Congressional Record.
I just read this quickly and I have a question: Why were the Democrats making these comments? Were the Republicans trying to hold up votes?
I don't know the answer to your question but assume that Republicans were holding up the vote of some Democrat nominee.
Forward this to Brit Hume.
We need to ALL e-mail to Brit and Rush and the Judicial Committee. They won't read it until they get hundreds of copies.
Great job OXEN!
Then why do we keep hearing that it's never been done before? I'm not doubting you, just asking.
Filibustering judicial nominees never has been done before, although some claim that it was done with Abe Fortis back in the 1960's. But the GOP didn't need to filibuster. As the majority party they controlled the committee schedule. And Jesse Helms was chairman. So killing judicial nominees at the committee level was a piece of cake.
I guess that I wanted to know if they were doing the same thing that the Democrats are doing right now. I think Rush has been saying that the Democrats are the ones who started doing this six years ago and that it hadn't been done before this. Were the Republicans keeping the vote from getting out of committee so that it could go to a full vote in the Senate? (I know that you don't know, but I'm wondering if anyone else does.)
Add Colorado Senator Ken Salazar to the summary.
"I would hope all nominees get up or down votes," Salazar answered. "And the decision on an up-or-down vote should be based on whether or not the president's nominee is qualified for the position."
Good find. Thank you!
Yes. The majority party runs the Judiciary Committee, and the chairman runs the schedule. One one or two occasions nominees that had been voted out of committee were blocked by Senator Helms. Not a single one of these actions violated any Senate rule. But then again, neither does the filibuster.
Great list. But the Republicans weren't filibustering, they were holding the names in committee and refusing to send them to the floor.
"Should we take our time on these federal judges? Yes. Do I have any apologies? Only one: I probably moved too many already." -- Trent Lott, 1998
Bond is up read more quotes on the florr right now.......
Thanks for that information.
And the difference is? In both cases one party prevented an up or down vote on the other party's nominees.
Excellent! Switching back to C-Span.
It may be substantively different. It may be that, since the Republicans controlled the Senate, there wouldn't have been enough votes on the floor, anyway. If my memory serves me, Clinton nominated some real nut jobs who happened to be minorities, then were saying that everyone opposing them was a racist. It may be that the Republicans on the committee were preventing those on the floor from having to cast their vote against.
It also may have been that a lot of Republicans were still respecting the time-honored tradition that the President was entitled to name judges whose political leanings were the same as his own, and that political or judicial philosophy was not a legitimate basis for voting down a nominee. Maybe the Republican leadership was afraid they would get the votes. I don't know.
Kit Bond is doing GREAT!
Perhaps. But in killing nominees by refusing to schedule committee hearings or voting out of committee then wasn't the GOP doing what they are complaining about now? Denying a nominee an up or down vote in the Senate?
If my memory serves me, Clinton nominated some real nut jobs who happened to be minorities...
And the Democrats claim that they are preventing extremists from the Bench. One party's sober jurist is another party's nut job.
...then were saying that everyone opposing them was a racist.
And the GOP is saying that the Democrats are opposing Republican nominees because they are Hispanic or because they are Catholic. Sad that we're taking pages out of the Democrat playbook, isn't it?
If I knew the freepers to thank for the research, I would do so.
The few I've tried to thank have said THEY got it from others too.
Frist needs to read every quote on the floor of the Senate and expose these hypocrites for everyone to see.
Thanks for the explanation!
Great post, thanks. Concerning the filibuster, what scares me the most is the gut feeling that the Repubs don't have 50 votes to support the Constitutional option even though a majority of the country (see Rasmussen) supports it. McCain, Hagel, Collins, Snowe, Chafee, and Graham will probably vote against it. This is why I fear that a compromise is imminent.
Graham is my Senator and a huge disappointment. I never expected to see his name included with Chafee, McCain, et al.
I agree, he reminds me a lot of a young John McCain. Maybe Mark Sanford should challenge Graham for the party's nomination in 2008, what do you think?
I like Sanford right where he is as Governor. And I'm afraid the RNC won't put anyone in a position to run against Graham and we're stuck with him for the foreseeable future.
It's a shame that a state as conservative as S.C. is going to suffer from this RHINO for years to come.
The common thread is that except for two of those quotes, all were made with a Democrat as president, and all were made with the Dems having control. And now...???????
Maybe Graham's bucking to be McCain's running mate. I wouldn't vote for either one of them, on any ticket.