November 17th, 2009
05:10 PM ET
4 years ago

Senate Democrats break GOP judicial filibuster

Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats broke a GOP filibuster Tuesday against a district judge first nominated eight months ago by President Barack Obama for a seat on the federal appeals court.

The Senate voted 70-29 to end debate over the nomination of Indiana Judge David Hamilton, who was tapped by Obama in March to fill a vacancy on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hamilton was Obama's first judicial nominee.

The full Senate is now expected to move forward quickly on a final vote on the nomination.

Hamilton's nomination cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee in June. Leading Republicans, however, then spent weeks preventing a final vote, arguing that Hamilton is too liberal.

Congressional Democrats have expressed growing unease over what they argue is a slow pace of both judicial nominations and confirmations since Obama took office.

–CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (239 Responses)
  1. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    And just as this article points out, the filibuster "slows" the process, how exactly is that reflection on President Obama.

    Just more of the party of NO doing what they do best.

    November 17, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. ib

    Guess that didn't happen by the demo's under Bush did it?? Yeah right!!!!!

    November 17, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. Steve

    Didn't they do enough danage? oh by the way. Where is the Money now from the record Bush tax breaks for the wealthy. What did it do? where is it now?The money is GONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
    Bernie Madoff looks like a nice guy compared to the biggest thief Bush.

    November 17, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. landy

    the best description of the democrat party i ever heard was, five democrats went into a room to hammer out some policy plan and came out with six different plans. unity?

    November 17, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Come on moderate democrats get on board so we can get things accomplished or you will be thrown out of office. Hold your nose and vote for what you know is right and give the party of no the boot.

    November 17, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Jon

    Whiners....sheesh....you give someone a little power and they think they can walk all over everyone....having someone block your efforts doesn't feel so good now does it? Remember President Bush's extremely qualified and wonderful former nominees who faced your tantrums and blocking only to withdraw due to the time it took? Get over yourselves and I can only pray (and vote) that you whiners will be defeated in the next election. Let's get some people in DC who care about their constituents and not their pocket books, and hopefully a President that will acutally do something besides giving the farm, I mean this country, away.

    November 17, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Chris

    Has anybody ever paid attention to judicial nominations before? This isnt news. Dubya had countless nomiantions just sit out there because they could never get a vote. Not saying it is the way to do things, just saying people need to drop the indignation over politicans behavior.

    November 17, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. What? Me Worried

    The Senate voted 70-29 to end debate ... The full Senate is now expected to move forward quickly on a final vote on the nomination

    I do not think that Senator Kennedy's replacement has been seated yet so all of the senators (aka the full Senate) were there.. So the vote was 70 – 29 in favor of allowing the senate to... vote.

    We have members of Congress using twitter to inform their staff and lobbyists how things are going in REAL TIME but you can't get business done in a timely manner because of antiquatied procedures. Procedures which were put in place to give members of Congress time to ride a horse back home to tell their constituents what was going on.

    November 17, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Obama - because he will need at least seven years to clean up after the elephants

    Are those the same 30 rethuglicans that voted to prevent raped women from suing contractors?

    2010 – Time to increase the Democratic margin in the Senate and put an end to Rethuglican dilatory, obstructionist and delaying tactics.

    Obama and Two – Rush, Sean and Beck – Scr.ew You

    November 17, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. Frank, Las Vegas

    It's about time the Dems got it together. By breaking the GOP filibuster it gives the American people what they voted for, action for a change. For all you right wing people, all this means is that the Senate will get to Vote on it. So I guess we should ask you, Why does a vote scare you so much? It's time for the party of NO to become a party of let's vote on it, after all that is the American way.

    November 17, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Jan in VA

    Those of you who NEED the goverment have been created by the same policies and entitlements. The only obstructionist to success is the Government itself. It is incapable of producing anything but dependents and debt, it can only spend money by taking it from its rightful owners. The only thing that generates weath is freedom, capitalism, smart people and rich people, God bless em. The rest of you looking for the goverment to fix problems will always be where you are. Nowhere but with your handout. Stop and think about yourself. What is your real economic value? If you don't know then you will always be my loser dependent step child I can't get rid of easily.

    November 17, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Kathy

    It's about time that the Dems stood up for themselves. Did the Dems ever try a fillibuster when appointments of conservative activist judges were appointed? It's time for the GOP to get over it and start working for we the people.

    November 17, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. Republicans are the American Taliban

    The Taliban hates justice. They hate womens rights. They will kill doctors that respect a womans decision to do as she wants with her own body. They want their religion taught in public schools. Only their religion is the true one. They want our citizens and military members to die needlessly. They hide behind the title....Republican...but don't be fooled...

    November 17, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  14. Peter Vaguely

    Keep fighting the obstructionists. All this will come back to haunt the Greedpublicans. They will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    November 17, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Not Blind

    The fact that any of you think the government, or the One Party system work for you is quite telling of just how brain-dead this country has become. Both the parties are so close to being identical that they may as well have a donkey/elephant chimera as their mascot. They don't care about your rights, they don't care what you want, and most of all they don't care about you, period. They care about your money, and how much power they can wield over you while duping you in to believing that "they're looking out for the people."

    Obama is just another peg in the ladder to absolute government control, as GWB was before him, and Clinton was before that. Get used to it, as it won't change as long as 90%+ of America has the Partisan blinders on.

    November 17, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. rufkm

    Have any of you idiots read anything about this nominee - his judgements are inconsistent, not always based on precident, and his decisions often are based on his own opinions versus established law.

    He is not the type of judge any of us want in this position. What the Republicans in this case are doing is protecting the Judicial system.

    By the way, here are a few facts:

    - Ruled that Muslim prayer is allowed in Indiana court room since it is dictated by their religion and the mention of Allah was fine, but yet he blocked Christian prayers and mention of God and blocked the placement of a Menorah by a Rabbi at the Court's Holiday display.

    - He was an avid fund raiser for ACORN and at the same time ruled over an ACORN court case (can you say, conflict of interest)

    - He's active in the ACLU - which may be fine for a lawyer, but not a seated district judge

    - He has also been stamped as "not qualified" by the ABA

    November 17, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  17. andrew

    Please. Filibustering judicial nominees as legitimate party policy was introduced by the democrats during the Bush administration. Prior to 1990 it was RARELY used, and certainly not as aggressively and crassly as it is today. Yes both parties do it now, unfortunately, but please don't cry any tears about republicans simply because they're recycling democratic tactics against Obama. "Turnabout is fair play" and the democrats opened pandora's box a decade ago. If I might quote and editorialize: 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it' (and whine and cry "foul" about it).

    November 17, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. Bob

    This "my way or the highway" attitude that both sides have is very unproductive. We don't want an America that is split between a radical left and a radical right. I think that most Americans, like me, have a wide range of views and you can't neatly place everyone into a box and call them a liberal or conservative. The whole concept that any step in one direction is just a stepping stone to some radical far end of the spectrum is just stupid. We need to work together to have a much more centrist government that is less politically polarized, not more.

    November 17, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Elder Young

    They argued that he was too liberal? But... that's a good thing.

    November 17, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Jason

    Do the 95% of the people commenting here know anything? Conservative judges don't legislate from the bench. They follow the constitution. That is often a problem with the left as they are hoping to get activist judges that create law (not up to a judge to do that). Also your memory is very short, the democrats did the same thing to Bush's nominations for the past 8 years. All judges should be conservative and only interpret laws as they are written. If you want a law changed that is for the congress.

    November 17, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. Beck

    "...you should have an understandING of how our government functions."

    Thought I'd say that before everyone starts attacking my typo...

    November 17, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  22. Rumsfeld

    Wow, eight months of filibuster. I knew the GOP was full of hot air. Wish they would use this energy to get their jobs done rather than stand in the way of progress and accountability.

    Obama/Biden
    2008/2012

    Because they are not GOP

    November 17, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Ricardo U. Berg

    The GOP are the real Facist here. They first tell you if you are agianst Bush then you're a terrorist and if you support President Obama, you're un-American. They sure resemble dictators;

    November 17, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  24. LuigiPastrami

    The GOP are behaving like a pack of snotty brats. What is wrong with this group? Can't they come up with ONE solid positive platform agenda to move forward? Is this the party of NO? HEY GOP. GIVE IT UP. OBAMA really is PRESIDENT.

    November 17, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. Hawk, In Texas

    We need to vote all republicans, and this includes the blue dog democrats. D.N.O.S. they are all against anything that has anything to do with the public. they only care about the super rich./

    November 17, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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