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. Michael, Gallatin, TN

    Democrats, stop mollycoddling the greedy, self-before-all Republicans and deal with them like spoiled brats they are.

    November 17, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. TJR

    Other than feeling good about bashing Republicans, I doubt many of you know what the issues are or what you're responding to.

    Who's read the House Health Care bill?

    November 17, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Richard

    Its about time the majority party started acting like it. oh yeah!
    its also about time the minority party stops acting like
    spoiled children and realizes how limited their power has
    become and seek common ground rather than drag their feet.

    November 17, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. foxglove

    The democrats should show no courtesy to the GOP. They are a rear guard to the future and they have no clue as to what to help this geat country. The old Chinese proverb...consider the will know the future.

    November 17, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. ryan

    I am truly amazed at the ignorance posted in this forum. Not only has the filibuster been the Democrat weapon of choice since 2001, ZERO Republican votes are needed override a GOP lead filibuster.

    Get over the GOP being the party of "no" and start blaming who ought to be blamed. In action in the senate is not a Republican creation. Please stop being blissfully ignorant. That goes for the author of this headline, too.

    November 17, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Joe Berson

    "he(she) who ignored history is doomed yo repeat it". Remember George Washington's admonition about NOT forming political parties. Now we seem to be paying for our ignorance.
    Hypothetically speaking was george Washington wrong in deciding to become our first president rather than our first king. REmember he had a choice and chose to be the president. Had he chosen to be our first king,just as in England, we would have had a prime minister rather than a president.
    An interesting dilemma "which way should we have gone????"

    November 17, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. Patrick

    Remember, Leiberman is a Republican who's too scared to say he is a Republican. We can thank Sen. Lugar for making this happen. He is the only Republican with a conscience, whether I agree with him or not.

    November 17, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. Eric

    Hmm. You say the Republicans are the "party of 'No'." You say the Republicans are obstructionists.

    Were the Democrats the "party of 'No'" when they routinely prevented Republican nominees from being confirmed? Were they being obstructionsts? Or is it just good ol' fashion politicking when Democrats do it but dastardly conduct when the Republicans do it?

    No, I won't hold my breath waiting for a fair and unbiased answer.

    November 17, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. HARRY

    The DEMS have a filibuster-proof majority. So unless at least 1 DEM was voting against, the GOP couldn't stop it. And 70 to 29 vote means a minimum 10 GOPs voted FOR it. What needs to stop as much as partisan politics in Washington is partisan-biased reporting by news media and these stupid partisan-biased comments.

    November 17, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. Peter s

    Very good!!! when will the party of angry old men understand that, saying No to every issue is not a solution? May be when Hannity the liar and Becks the crazy and Limbaugh the fat moron copletely destroys the Republican Party.

    November 17, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  11. Charlotte

    Funny that these misinformed rightie tighties think that 'conservative judges use the constitution and liberal judges legislate from the bench.' LOL!!! They really can't read and don't bother to learn facts, do they. It's actually the conservative judges who play fast and loose with the Constitution, trying very hard to rule against anyone who is not big corporation or in their little panty pocket, whereas the Liberal judges actually try to judge based on law. AH, well, the Repanties are just blubbering their own wishful thinking according to what Rush told them, they cannot think for themselves and couldn't bother to read facts if their lives depended on it. Just let them whine. Thank God the Dems are developing a little backbone!

    November 17, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. George

    They say they want smaller government. From the size of this vote looks like the Republican side of our government is definitely getting smaller. It's our pleasure to make it REALLY smaller real soon. Let's go all the way in 2010.

    November 17, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. About time

    Good on ya Senate Dems.

    Now keep doing this for health care, finance regulation, and climate change. We the people need all these things too much to let a bunch of GOP nay-sayers stand in our way. Thank you.

    November 17, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Eric

    With only forty votes in the Senate, the Republican Party cannot sustain a filibuster. Therefore it is self- evident that until today there had to be non-Republicans who were blocking the nomination as well. The Republican Party can be blamed for much, but anyone who wishes to blame them for obstructionism in either house of the legislature since the last election is either incapable of math or reason or both.

    November 17, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  15. Nathan

    I love all the idiotic comments about "GOP Tactics," as if a filibuster has never been used by the DNC. Get a clue people, stop forming your ideas around your "party" and instead form them around what is right. The whole political system is broken – the government is much too big and is involved in too much. Your liberties are being ignored, and you sit here arguing about "GOP tactics."

    November 17, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. John

    The republicans that filibustered are showing themselves for what they truly are, hypocrites!

    November 17, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. Rob

    One can only imagine what this country would be like if it were not for free thinking secular liberals who founded it.

    November 17, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  18. ben

    Let's be honest here these filibusters are real anymore. All the GOP has to do is say they are going to filibuster, and no vote. Let's make them go up and show the American public the obstructionists they really are. For all intents and purposes it take 60 votes to pass any bill. what happened to only needing a basic majority?

    November 17, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. John

    Where is Senator Mitch McConnell chanting "up or down vote"?

    November 17, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. ryan

    Finally our government can actually get something done. It's just too bad our government has become so polarized, the GOP wont allow any progress under Obama

    November 17, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  21. Marc L

    I am always amazed at the stupidity of people. Wake up! This is politics. Now it is the Republicans, later it will be the Democrats pulling all kinds of stunts. They are all guilty of it. You want real change? Write to your congressmen and tell them you support Senator Demint's proposal- term limits for all in Congress. If we end their lifelong career as a politician, we end their corruption.

    November 17, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  22. Loren

    Just a few short years ago, these same filibustering hypocrites were the ones shouting "Up or down vote!" on judicial nominees. They can dish it out, but they can't take it.

    November 17, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  23. Ahab

    If you guys don't start waking up, the only jobs out there will be working FOR the goverment. I've never seen such blind followers who are doing nothing more than catering to their special interest groups. Yea, it's payback time, but not the kind of payback most of you are thinking.

    November 17, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. PK

    I am a bit confused by the title and content of this. It says the vote was 70-29 to end the debate. Isn't that 10 more than was needed to end a filibuster. Did the GOP try to filibuster? Was this first vote to end the debate? Doesn't this mean that 10 Republicans voted to end the debate? Were there 10 Republicans who switched sides, or does this mean that some Republicans were hoping to be able to fillibuster this nomination but did not have the votes on first vote to stop the debate?

    November 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  25. Sickntired

    We are a nation of idiots.

    November 17, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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