April 13th, 2010
04:47 PM ET
12 years ago

Democratic senators urge action on Obama's judicial nominees

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/13/art.leahy.jpg caption ="The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee lashed out at Senate Republicans on Tuesday for holding up confirmation votes on President Obama's judicial nominees."]

Washington (CNN) - The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee lashed out at Senate Republicans on Tuesday for holding up confirmation votes on President Obama's judicial nominees.

"The overall pattern set by Republicans on the other side of the aisle is one of reflexive partisanship, not principled argument," Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, told reporters. "Increasingly, Senate Republicans are avoiding answering aye or nay on these nominations. They prefer saying 'just maybe.' "

He pointed to the Republicans' use of filibustering, a parliamentarian tactic in which 60 votes are needed to end debate and allow an up-or-down vote.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said at a news conference it appears Democrats will have to force a vote on some of the nominations, leading to late-night sessions.

"It will mean some speeches showing the American people how unusual this is in the history of our country, to have a party saying no to everything," he added.

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Filed under: GOP • Patrick Leahy
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. ib

    Reid ;you are a hyprocrite. What did the demo's do to Bush the whole time he was in office. Oh I forgot when you took controll of congress everything went downhill and Bush got the blame.

    April 13, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Artie

    Wonder what these fools did with Bush'sappointments?

    April 13, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Dutch

    I find the republicans obstruction to be unconstitutional and should be a matter for the SCOTUS. They get upset with the POTUS when he appoints his nominees while they're on recess. Well he wouldn't have to do that if republicans weren't obstructing every single last thing this POTUS is trying to get accomplished.

    Vote all republicans out!!!

    April 13, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. jeff jackson, alabama

    The exact thing happened to the Bush
    appointies when the democrats held
    things up.

    April 13, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. get real

    Let me quote the Republicans from a few years ago, "we demand an up or down vote on judicial nominees".

    April 13, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Kirsten

    Wow, its funny to see how small the Democratic leadership's memory is. I love how they're choosing to forget the fact that they were filibustering nominees right and left during Bush's term. Funny how its only been bad when the Republicans are doing it.

    April 13, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Cosmo

    Force the hands of the Republicans and show it on C-Span so that all of American can see how the GOP puts the interests of their party (and contributions) before the interests of the American people. Why does the GOP hate America and its people so much?

    April 13, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Michael from Ventura

    Hey republiCANTs- ever heard of KARMA? Keep up the obstruction and the KARMA will kick you right where it needs to.

    April 13, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Crap – give it a rest you dirty democRATS!! You people have been the party of naysayers for so long, you've apparently forgotten. You make it extremely difficult everytime a republican SCOTUS was nominated! You made it virtually impossible for many! If Nobama would select the right, moderate, people, there wouldn't be a problem. Surely all of you cannot expect the far left appointees to be "welcomed" with open arms by moderates and conservatives, not even counting far right conservatives because they don't have a vote as far as I concerned inasmuch as the far left doesn't. Thank the good lord they don't just sit down and agree with all the clowns our POTUS selects because most are not worthy.

    April 13, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    Hear, Hear, Leahy!

    It's about TIME these obstructionists are kicked in their ARSES and treated like the bunch of thumb-sucking, foot-stamping, temper-tantrum, whining-crybabies they are.

    April 13, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Gop

    To Reid any one that does not sale out our country is wrong. I hope the GOP keeps saying No because the liberal nut jobs on the left just can't say No to high taxes. takeing over healthcare and running up our debt!

    gee No seems like a good word to me.

    April 13, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Bob

    It really is hard to believe that Senate Democrats can be so duplicitious! Either that or they have Alzheimers, are chronic liars, or think the people are stupid and have no memories(which does carry a semblance of demonstrated truth). Go back and check the archives of the stalling, political posturing and obstructionism of Leahy, Biden, Kennedy, and Dodd over EVERY ONE of the Bush nominations for federal judges. Patrick Leahy is pathetic hypocrite.

    April 13, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. 8 Years of “trickle down economics” has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!

    Make the party of NO actually do the filibusters, do not let them off if they just threaten, make them do it and then the American people can see just how dedicated the cons are to bringing the government to a grinding halt not to mention that eventually, they will have to sleep and that will end the filibuster.

    Show the American people how the filibuster can be abused, then you will gain support for a simple majority vote in the Senate, just like it is now in the House.

    April 13, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Jack

    Attacking Republicans for filibustering Supreme Court nominees? Are you KIDDING me? Harry Reid needs to search through history of the confirmations of Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito.

    April 13, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. RLE

    what else is new; the dopes of nope are not interested nor have they ever been interested in what is good for America it's all about posturing. I am so sick of these elected officials with their own agendas and not that of their constituents

    April 13, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    He's right you know. I don't have the numbers handy, but CNN should be publishing them. The GOP has held up many times as many nominees for various positions than the Dems challenged when the Bushtard was cavorting about the WH. At one point, Shelby alone was holding up something like 70 of them all by himself in a bid to get pork for Alabammy. They may be dancing about claiming that "Obama can't govern," but the reality is, they won't even let him try. Why? Because they're afraid he'll prove them wrong....oh so very VERY wrong. It's really just that simple. They hope they can shut down the government for 4 years while he's POTUS...like it's in suspended animation...then pick up in 2013 after a magic win in 2012 and not only have all the nominations and other things they normally would get to make and do, but get to fill all the vacancies they forced to remain while Obama was in the WH too.

    April 13, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Matt, Manchester, CT

    What a hypocrite this Leahy is. Is he trying to tell us that he's always been one to support placing every judicial nomination of every President while he's been in the Senate to an up or down vote? If he can honestly say that's the case, then he's got a legitimate point. He seems to only find principled use of holding up nominations when his party is in the minority. Dick Cheney was right told this guy off.

    April 13, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Ruty

    The party of NO is at it again.

    April 13, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Hawk in texas

    What else do you expect from the party of no.

    April 13, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Everybody knows that the Republicans will do everything in their power to hold up any nominations that the President makes. It's what they do best and what makes then the PARTY OF NO!

    April 13, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Seanathair

    Both parties have uused the Filibuster to excess in blocking Judicial appointments.

    April 13, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Joe

    The next time the Republicans threaten to filibuster, they should be required to actually do so. Let them line up and talk non stop for hours or days or weeks if necessary. Allow them every opportunity to show the country what obstructionist blowhards they are.

    And let the cameras record every minute of it for future reference in their electoral districts. What great Democratic campaign ads that footage will provide.

    April 13, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    How long did the dems hold up Bush's judicial nominees, hmmm?
    This is why the democrats are called "hypo-crats"!

    April 13, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Mr. Moderate

    Why don't the Democrats call out the Republicans on the filibuster. In the end they will look pretty silly shutting down the legislative branch of the government talking endlessly about nothingin particular solely to ostruct the President's initiatives.

    April 13, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Obama the Liar

    Who cares what Sen. Leaky thinks, says or promises....another jail dodger. Sen. LEAKY Leahy, not a honest man in his entire life.

    April 13, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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