November 17th, 2009
05:10 PM ET
12 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. Steph

    About time Democrats found their collective backbone. Now on to health care reform.

    November 17, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Kyle

    Randy, having 60 votes (just enough to prevent a filibuster) leaves no room for error. If only one member of the Democratic caucus dissents, they can prevent whatever they want. When you have people like Joe Lieberman caucusing with your party, you can't really rely on the votes all of the time. Conservative Democrats aren't reliable votes.

    November 17, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Larry

    Obama is doing a great job, considering that only about 20% of the good things are getting through the GOP. I guess that the GOP figures that if they let him succeed and save the US economy, health care, education, etc. That they will have no chance of getting elected again.

    god save us from the GOP.

    November 17, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. RB - CA

    Once again, the GOP proves itself to be the party of "NO": No agenda, no brains, no courage, no rational thought process, no new ideas, no leadership, no honesty, etc., etc., etc.

    November 17, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. bawana

    just remember what this guy inherited from the last bunch of jerks,,,it isn't going to be straightened out in less than 1 yr,,,try longer than 8,,that is how long the bush wacko's had to deal us the crap that we now have,,,get out of war,,all together and start taking care of our own,,screw everybody else,,,,i think if we did that ,,it would cut alot of costs we can't really afford,,and we could feed our own hungry and maybe give a little health care,,,hey what a thought feeding our own and giving our own health care,,,fix us before we go try to fix everybody else
    comment on another issue closed out

    November 17, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. tobias

    liberal democrats all they do is whine.
    this country is going to hell.
    we need a revolution to get rid of the ones who are like al gore.
    preach about things.make documentaries about stuff and not live up to what they say...

    November 17, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. CK

    The Republicans did the best they could - and congratulations to them for holding out as long as possible. For years, all of our moderate and conservative judges have been blocked - hundreds of them over the past 16 years. Now that the democrats are meeting some resistance, we get all this biased media coverage that fails to mention that the moderates and conservatives have not gotten their fair share of nominations through. Silent on all the years of blocking by the democrats. That is basically unfair and tanamount to journalistic malpractice.

    November 17, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. John

    I actually always thought that nuclear option idea the Republicans once had was a good one. The Dems should steal it...

    November 17, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Michael

    I'm also confused about this. How does a party without 40 votes fillibuster anything unless some Dems are helping them?

    November 17, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. bawana

    all you can hear is the cries like babies from the repugs,,shut up,,we let yall have control,,look at what yall did,,enough said,,now go away please

    November 17, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. Mickey

    Looks like we're going to have the call the wah-wah-wahmbulance for the Republicans.

    GOP: Evolve or die...

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

    How many times did we hear the republicans chant "up or down vote!" – and then threaten the "nuclear option...." What's sauce for the goose often turns out to be sauce for the gander. Every living Democrat remembers how the republicans treated "the minority" ... even locking the doors to keep Democrats out of committee meetings – when they were on the committee... sour grapes = sour republican whine ...

    November 17, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Frances

    The Democrats can continue to WHINE and COMPLAIN that the Republicans will not let them accomplish their liberal agenda, but guess what WHINERS – you have the majority (for now), But in 2010 Look OUT!

    November 17, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. Get

    Can't stand liberals. They have robbed this Country of its morals. Box'em up and ship'em out for all I care. Sure HGTV would lose all of their Gay designers but you have to break a few eggs to make a cake.

    November 17, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Robert

    I'm sick of all this talk of filibuster. You should NOT have to have 60 votes to pass something. The Constitution clearly states that a law will pass with a simple majority of 51 (or 50 plus the Vice President as tie breaker). Come on, people!!! I learned that in 10th grade Civics class.

    November 17, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. joe blow

    This just shows the incohesiveness of the Dummycrats. With the massive majority that they "won" by being the non-Bush party, they should be able to easily smash any GOP resistance. However, due to their lack of teamwork and unification for a common goal (a familiar issue with the "liberals") they are just as impotent as they were when they were the minority.

    November 17, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. stannard

    Repubicans say nothing and stand for the same. The time
    seems to have come for those who have forgotton how to count votes.

    November 17, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. ACX

    Do you really know anything at all about the judge other than Obama picked him? Is that enough?

    November 17, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  19. Woodsy

    Senate Democrats break GOP judicial filibuster??!!??!!?? How did THEY "break" it??

    The last time I checked, the Dems don't have 60 votes, much less the 70 that is quoted in the article. The TRUE title is "Senate Republicans allow up or down vote". The article is worthy, but the title is terribly misleading.

    Please Dana, get the title writers to stop treating us like we're idiots – most of us have minds that can think on their own. This title is an insult to anyone who understands even the basics of the system.

    Or should I read into this that you are pushing an agenda? So much for the "no room for opinion on our network" montra. Looks like you're carrying Snobama's water. (Get it – Snobama means we're getting snowed by Obama.)

    Now it looks like we're getting snowed by CNN.

    November 17, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  20. Mike Warner

    Randy the GOP are far from powerless, if there is one thing the GOP and thier media machine FOX news knows how to do its to convince citizens that they are angry, and angry people march and vote. Happy people do not. 40,000 teabaggers suddenly doesnt seem so impressive when there are 300,000,000 americans.

    November 17, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. Alex

    That's the way! Bulldoze them while you can!

    November 17, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. Ken G

    About time the Dems got some spine and used their votes to reverse the regressive GOP years.... Too bad impeaching members of the Supreme Court. Scalia and Thomas for starters....

    November 17, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. Keeth in California

    But when the GOP was in power, all they could say was, "We need an up or down vote. No filibusters."

    Hmmm. I'm not surprised. The GOP is all about hypocrisy.

    GOP = Got 0 Plans.

    November 17, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Jim H

    President Obama didn't circumvent the advice and consent function of the Senate by using recess appointments, as Bush did, to get grossly unqualified people on the bench such as Priscilla Owens. Republican bigots and hypocrites.

    November 17, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. Jim

    The Dems need to clear out the "Blue Dog Democrats". Make them caucus with their real party, the Republicans. Then, their constituents can either eat the results, or vote in a real Democrat. Enough of dressing like a sheep when you are a wolf. Let's make sure that the men and women in Congress are doing their jobs, representing our wishes. And if the Dems have ANY backbone, get rid of Lieberman. Strip him of his chairmanships, make him caucus with his buddies in the Republican party, and take away anything he has been given by us.

    November 17, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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