Friday, May 20, 2005

When the Filibuster Was Less Convenient

Excerpted from Drexel University's student newspaper - compiled by William Mulgrew

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.):

* "Nominees deserve a vote. If our . . . colleagues don't like them, vote against them. But don't just sit on them - that is obstruction of justice. Free and full debate over judicial nominations is healthy.

The Constitution is clear that only individuals acceptable to both the President and the Senate should be confirmed.

The President and the Senate do not always agree. But we should resolve these disagreements by voting on these nominees - yes or no." Congressional Record, January 28, 1999.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Id.):

* "I really believe that the filibuster rules are unconstitutional. I believe the Constitution sets out five times when you need majority or supermajority votes in the Senate for treaties, impeachment." Congressional Record, March 1, 1994.

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.):

* "[T]he filibuster rule... there is no constitutional basis for it.... It is, in its way, inconsistent with the Constitution, one might almost say an amendment of the Constitution by rule of the U.S. Senate." Congressional Record, January 4, 1995

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.):

* "If we want to vote against somebody, vote against them. I respect that. State your reasons. I respect that. But don't hold up a qualified judicial nominee. [...] I have had judicial nominations by both Democrat and Republican Presidents that I intended to oppose.

But I fought like mad to make sure they at least got a chance to be on the floor for a vote. [...] Don't hold them in this anonymous unconscionable limbo, because in doing that, the minority of Senators really shame all Senators." Congressional Record, June 18, 1998.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.):

* "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." Congressional Record, May 14, 1997.

Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.):

* "I must say, I find it simply baffling that a Senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination." Congressional Record, October 5, 1999.


Post a Comment

<< Home