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. Emmanuel Goldstein

    Just because there is a majority party doesn't mean it will govern fairly. In 1776, the majority of this country's citizens were loyal to the Crown. And these worms tend to turn. Payback is gonna be a mother.

    November 17, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Hugo Chavez

    Obama and his congress are going to see a massive uprising if american freedoms are taken away with the healthcare bill. Nobody has the right to tell me what I need to purchase as I am an American. Nobody has the power to put me in jail for not purchasing something I don't want. I have never voted for Congress or the President, but myself and many like me will be voting everyone out of office who currently holds office.

    November 17, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Joe Biden

    We are heading to be a communist country. Vote the bozos out.

    November 17, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Brian from NJ

    When Miguel Estrada withdrew his nomination after a prolonged Democratic filibuster, this was Teddy's reaction...

    Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, said the withdrawal was a "a victory for the Constitution."

    "It reflects a clear recognition by Miguel Estrada, and, hopefully this White House, that under the Constitution the Senate has shared power over judicial appointments," Kennedy said.

    And there were others...

    The other two other Bush nominees Senate Democrats are filibustering are Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, nominated for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, and Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, nominated for the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    November 17, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. charlie in Maine

    Change we can believe in.

    November 17, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. Marc Gendron

    Lieberman needs to go. He is anti- public option health care.

    November 17, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  7. silly

    GOP vs DEM. What's wrong with doing the right thing. Get the federal government out of state business and states out of personal business. Anytime votes are strickly down party lines, it tells me that our legislators do not care whether a bill is good or bad, they just have to support their party. Not what is important or best for the people that they are supposed to be serving.

    November 17, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. Paul in ABQ

    At 70-29, a fair number of Repubs had to vote with the Demos. Last time I counted, the Democratic caucus had only 60 votes, even counting Lieberman and the Independent Sen Sanders. And, I doubt that all the Demos voted to close debate. So, lets hear it for those Elephants who voted to close debate! This might be a good precedent for the Health Care reform bill.

    November 17, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. GOP'es

    Your precious majority won't be around for much longer, thanks to the polarizing Mr. Obama and the inept congress. 2010 elections are coming . . . tick tock . . tick tock . . .

    All you free loaders will have to get an education and a job, instead of taxing me more.

    November 17, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  10. J.D. Murphy

    This judge appears to be well-qualified. The filibuster attempt was because of GOP spite. Let's work together, senators.

    November 17, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. David

    The only way to change the status is TERM LIMITS AND NO RE-ELECTION!!!

    November 17, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. janet

    I'm so tired of the party of no.
    They are a one-trick pony and it's wearing thin. I used to think it was important to have a two (or three) party system but I've been proven wrong by this gang of crazies. What a shame for our country.

    November 17, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. D

    This Judge thinks is Judges responsibility to add footnotes to the Constitution. I thought is was the Judges job to inforce the Constitution and the peoples job to add footnotes or make changes. Come on people do some research as to why they are challenging his appointment. Not just because Obama wants him

    November 17, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. NotFooledTX

    Good – the do nothing republicans foiled again. In your face Mr. Sessions you little twit!

    It's really a shame that the whole country has to suffer for the sophomoric political antics of the republican party.

    November 17, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. Aviate

    Wait a minute, the same Republicans who declared an "up or down vote" on all judicial nominees to be a Constitutional imperative are now trying to filibuster nominees when the President just happens to be from another party?!? What's the term for that again? Like some kind of shoe one wears to the beach? Flip-something or other? I thought Republicans didn't like that?

    Makes me think of Jon Stewart's bit pitting 2006 Giuliani vs 2009 Giuliani last night.

    November 17, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Ken in NC

    If the Party Of NO is going to get anything done in the next 4 years it will only be to bog down our government. They will activily try to stop anything this administration wants to do regardless to what it is. I am so glad I saw the light and left that bunch of fools. Problem now is that Democrats have some Under Cover Republicans in the Democratic Party doing the same thing the party of NO is doing. Thos fools do not care anything about the people in this country. They all work for Big Business and the Health Care Industry.

    November 17, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. m smith

    Thank goodness. Tired of the repos dragging their feet on everything. Time to move on

    November 17, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. david

    Yes Yes Yes- it's about time. United we stand!

    November 17, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. TonyH

    "Liberal" judges are not necessarily "activists" on the bench; they may clearly apply the law and the Constitution in exactly the manner the founders intended. An example of this is the Miranda decision, which inevitably follows the principle that we are each innocent until proven guilty.

    Conservative judges have been activists – just look at the Dred Scott decision.

    The only way to evaluate a candidate for the federal bench is to look at the whole of their record on the bench or off.

    November 17, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    GOP = Obstructionists

    GOP = Party Before Country

    November 17, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. Albo58

    Hey loons, how can the Republicans block a district judge's confirmation with only 39 votes in the Senate? Perhaps some of the Democrats actually saw the ineptness in this nominee?

    November 17, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. wbn

    Nice short piece; you forgot to explain why so many did not want this guys appointed. His strong personal agenda was honed by his former work with the ACLU and ACORN. His blant rulings against any measures brought up by pro-lifers, Christians, and Jews have been preposterous. Too bad the "news" is agenda driven too, sintead of providing as much information as possible..

    November 17, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Von Clausewitz

    Well, another idiot judge on the bench.

    November 17, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. BestProfitCompany = WAR

    "I'm confused. With 60 votes, how was the fillibuster possible, unless the Dems aren't united, is that a good sign? You can blame the GOP all you want they are currently powerless."

    You sure don't know much about how congress is run. Thats okay most Americans dont. I know its sad. Even though the rethuglicans are the minority party, they still have powers. Our forefathers gave the minority fillibuster power. So even though rethuglicans dont have power to make laws (thank your god for that) they still have some power to do some stuff, mostly obstruct and waste tax payer money... like always.

    November 17, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. TSRVT

    Republicans have pretty much proven they are useless beings, across the board. They need to get out of the way and let the grown-ups govern now.

    November 17, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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