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. GOPBslapper

    Steam roll Republicans. As the GOP was so fond of saying after Bush's election, Barrack has a mandate now.

    November 17, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. Chad

    How soon do you people forget that the Dems blocked nearly every judicial nominee Bush proposed. Hypocrits!

    November 17, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. Rennie

    Aren't there camps for these Republicans?

    November 17, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Columbus Ohio Fed UP

    Please explain to me , what the republicans do beside say "NO"? Heck , they can do that from their homes ..LOL They should be very very afraid, as they are taking a double down approach... They will be voted out , they have no clue

    November 17, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. Glenn

    someone attacked liberal judges...wasnt it liberal judges appointed by FDR that ruled on cases like Borwn vs Education? Is that one of the stupid rulings you are referring to? Judges can be activist no matter what side. We just call them such when they dont rule the way we want them. political ideology is not the same as judicial ideology. the difference in law between the sides is one feels you cant read into the law even if there is no precedent where the other side says not everything is exhaustive in the constitution thus the constitution is like a living tree and must be applied based on the modern circumstances. The constitution does say that blacks were 3/5 of a perosn if they were slaves. but it took the living tree ideal for that to change. so the law is interpreted on both ends. it just depends how its interpreted. learn what jurisprudence is.

    November 17, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  6. Sandra Skelton

    When the Dems were doing this to Bush, not even allowing his nominations out of committee so they could come to the floor for a vote, I didn't hear the whining I'm seeing in these comments. You people act like it's only the Republicans that do this stuff. Give me a break! John McCain and others (from both parties) came together and formed a group who agreed that judicial nominations would be given the courtesy of a yes or no vote. It's the Senate's job to provide advice and consent, not determine who the nominees should be.

    November 17, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. sEE IT comming

    Good. Democrats are doing a good job. But they need to be more disciplined and united and spot the Liebermans

    November 17, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. Andi

    Democrats, ROCK!! Yes We Can! Yes We Can! Yes We Can!

    November 17, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  9. Rod

    In this era of "NO MONEY", because we have already spent our great great -great grand children's money, we need to be looking at down sizing our courts, and building in LOCAL checks to stand against them, and everything that government does becoming to much of a burden on the private sector, which mostly doesn't exist much anymore as it has fled to China.
    If everything that Government spends would have to come from the Local Counties were the Government pays 6 figure incomes
    to them, the local citizens would be completely broke and start a revolution. To this end, we should push to combine courts,
    in other words, no more congress confirmations, just put them all under Local control to be voted on by the people, and end this mess.

    November 17, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  10. GoneandGlad

    The older I get, the more I find the petty political circus in Washington to be one big ridiculous insult to our national intelligence. California might have the right idea (rarely), when partisan politics were outlawed a the local level. What would Washington be like if every politician was an independent. No duck and hide then.

    November 17, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. DickN

    Fortunately, our Mesiah-in-Chief has made so many blunders with the economy, unemployment, outright lies during his campaign, ill-advised appointments to "czar" positions, questionable friendships with known criminals/communists..... this list goes on and on...

    We, the people of the United States WILL take back our country..... now, that's a change you can believe in!

    November 17, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. Cheshire

    The Democrats look like idiots. They have all the power they're going to get. If they don't vote as a party, then they might as well not have one. The Republicans managed give Bush the power to declare war and the Democrats can't seat Federal Judge in less than a week. The public doesn't really know if they're senator is being fiscally sound. The less Republican input the better; they earned at least a year or two's worth of shut up.

    November 17, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. Rick Charles

    Amazing how unaware so many "citizens" are about the ways of government. It's no wonder we elect people who are so pandering, when we as a citizenry have so little idea about our representatives operate.

    November 17, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  14. Race

    a filibuster occurs when one party or another or group of senators decides to block a vote on an issue, law or nomination by continually debating about it. According to the rules, as long as someone is speaking about the issue, a final vote cannot be taken unless a 2/3 majority of senators vote that enough debate has occured. This tactic has been used often by both republicans and democrats to stop confirmations and new law.
    The fact that this filibuster was broken in this manner means that many moderate republicans voted to end debate. This bodes well for the republican party, if these same moderates can curb the far-right insanity currently infecting their party. If they cannot curb it then they are finished as a political power, much like the Whig party, whom they took over from.

    November 17, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. They call me "tater salad"

    Do the same thing to the fillibuster the GOP are already planning for the Health Care Reform bill, then you'll impress me! But until then, don't go breaking your arms patting yourselves on the backs just yet Dems! You really haven't done much to your credit so far and people are starting to wonder about your credibilty as well as the the GOP's! I'm begining to think a third party made up of moderate Independents might not be such a bad idea.....Heck someone needs to actually govern while you kids continue with your endless popularity contests and magic shows!

    November 17, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. Dave

    It is sure strange that the Dems have clear majority, and still cannot move their agenda. It is the Dems who are not united.

    November 17, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  17. Get real!

    I'm willing to bet most of the Republicans in this country you liberals are bashing are the ones who pay most of the taxes (it was shown that only 53% of America actually pays meaningful federal tax). If enough get tired of it how do suggest we pay for all the entitlements you liberals want? It's great to get it when it is free but you cry cry cry when you have to pay for it! The government is not the answer to everything and eventually you all will figure out the well has gone dry and won't know what to do.

    November 17, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. Rod

    Wasn't it the Republicans who championed the "just get it on the floor for an up or down vote" mantra just a few years ago? Looks like the Republicans are trying to put the "hip" back in hypocrisy... if you want to be branded as something other than the "party of no," then at some point you're going to have to stop saying no... to everything.

    November 17, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. Robin in Tampa, FL

    An Eight month wait to get a full up or down vote is completely unacceptable. This should have been done months ago.

    November 17, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. mike hunt

    you sir, are an idiot.

    November 17, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  21. Connie

    Good for the Dems! I hope that they keep standing up for what's right. Filibuster the GOP every chance they get to let the GOP know that the American people are tired of their nonsense.

    November 17, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  22. Me

    What is really hilarious is that under the Bu$h, Inc. administration it was the REPUBLICONS who wanted to end the filibuster option in the Senate. Now that they are the minority, those hypocrites are using it at every turn. And the limp-wristed, cowardly Democrats are too afraid to call them out on it. "Hope"? "Change"? We'll never see any of that until the Dems grow a pair and stand up to them.

    November 17, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. Jim

    Obama has only nominated 28 judges (at all levels) and 80% of them have not even reached their nomination hearing. Don't blame the GOP for the impotence.

    November 17, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. mjm

    Yeah, like it's the Republican's fault that Obama can't find a judge everyone can support.

    Besides, conservative judges out number the liberals on that court. Nothing changes with this appointment.

    November 17, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. ED FL

    The united states senate has to get rid of Lieberman, that jerk is the lowest type of human that the senate has EVER seen. This guy can not be trusted . his word means nothing and he will lie or say anything to get into a position that he will use to get what he wants no matter how low he has to stoop. NO MORALSare his mainstay.

    November 17, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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