March 15, 2005

Shout It Out Loud

Eric Pfeiffer's Beltway Buzz revisits what some prominent Democrats have had to say about floor votes in the Senate on judicial nominees. I've seen all of these quotes before, but these sensible statements should be heard by all American citizens. Maybe in tomorrow's New York Times?

What Democrats Once Said About Filibusters

Hopeful Democrats and many in the media say the Social Security debate could create an electoral backlash against Republicans in 2006.

However, a more rapidly developing story provides evidence we could be seeing an event closer to 1995. When Republicans shut down the government in opposition to Bill Clinton it hurt them. Democrats are now threatening similar action against President Bush’s judicial nominees.

What did several of these prominent Democrats say about filibusters during Clinton’s administration? If these five Democrats stood by their previous arguments, the filibuster battle would be resolved.

Barbara Boxer – 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."

Dick Durbin – 9/28/98:

"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."

Tom Harkin – 1/5/95:

"I do not believe that I as a member of the minority ought to have the right to absolutely stop something because I think it is wrong, that that is rule by minority."

Ted Kennedy – 3/7/00

"The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court said: ‘The Senate is surely under no obligation to confirm any particular nominee, but after the necessary time for inquiry it should vote him up or vote him down.’ Which is exactly what I would like."

Pat Leahy - 6/18/98

"If we don’t like somebody the President nominates, vote him or her down. But don’t hold them in this anonymous unconscionable limbo, because in doing that, the minority of Senators really shame all Senators."

Posted by dan at March 15, 2005 4:54 PM