For Immediate Release
Miranda Blue or Justin Greenberg
202-467-4999 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Flashback: GOP Senators Claim Filibusters of Judicial Nominees are Unconstitutional
WASHINGTON - Later today, the Senate will hold a vote to end the filibuster against Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s nominee to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2005, when a handful of President Bush’s nominees faced filibusters, at least 12 current U.S. senators said that preventing judicial nominees from getting up-or-down votes isn’t just wrong: it’s unconstitutional. The impending cloture vote on the Liu nomination will be an important test to separate those senators who stand on principle from those who put politics above all else.
Senator Saxby Chambliss (GA): “I believe [filibustering judicial nominees] is in violation of the Constitution” (4/13/05).
Senator John Cornyn (TX): Judicial filibusters are “offensive to our nation’s constitutional design…. [S]eparation of powers principles strongly suggest that the Senate may not—and especially not by mere Senate rule—enhance its own power in such a manner without offending the Constitution” (2004).
Senator Mike Crapo (ID): “[T]he Constitution requires the Senate to hold up-or-down votes on all nominees” (5/25/05).
Senator Jim Demint (SC): “[D]enials of simple votes on judicial nominees” are “unconstitutional” (5/22/05).
Senator Lindsey Graham (SC): “I think filibustering judges will destroy the judiciary over time. I think it’s unconstitutional” (5/23/05).
Senator Orrin Hatch (UT): Filibustering judicial nominees is “unfair, dangerous, partisan, and unconstitutional” (1/12/05).
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX): “[T]he Constitution envisions a 51-vote majority for judgeships…. [Filibustering judges] amend[s] the Constitution without going through the proper processes…. We have a majority rule that is the tradition of the Senate with judges. It is the constitutional requirement” (4/28/05).
Senator Johnny Isakson (GA): “[T]he Constitution require[s] an up-or-down vote” on judicial nominees. “I will vote to support a vote, up or down, on every nominee. Understanding that, were I in the minority party and the issues reversed, I would take exactly the same position because this document, our Constitution, does not equivocate” (5/19/05).
Senator Jon Kyl (AZ): “The President was elected fair and square. He has the right to submit judicial nominees and it is the Senate’s obligation under the Constitution to act on those nominees” (4/10/08).
Senator Jeff Sessions (AL): “[The Constitution] says the Senate shall advise and consent on treaties by a two-thirds vote, and simply ‘shall advise and consent’ on nominations…. I think there is no doubt the Founders understood that to mean … confirmation of a judicial nomination requires only a simple majority vote” (7/27/03).
Senator Richard Shelby (AL): “Why not allow the President to do his job of selecting judicial nominees and let us do our job in confirming or denying them? Principles of fairness call for it and the Constitution requires it” (11/12/03).
Senator John Thune (SD): Filibustering judicial nominees “is contrary to our Constitution …. It was the Founders’ intention that the Senate dispose of them with a simple majority vote” (4/21/05).
We know things are bad. We know it's worth the fight.
You are part of a strong and vibrant community of thinkers and doers who believe another world is possible. Alone we are weak. Together we can make a difference. At Common Dreams, we don't look away from the world—we are not afraid—our mission is to document those doing wrong and galvanize those doing good. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. We have now launched our annual Summer Campaign. Can you pitch in today?
People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.