Monday, October 04, 2010

GOP opposition to judges 'inexcusable, irresponsible"

A spokesman for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says there's more to Republican opposition to Democrats' nominees for federal judgeships than I wrote about in Sunday's column about the failure to even vote on President Barack Obama's nominees. The column failed to take note of a key procedural roadblock, writes Regan Lachapelle, deputy communications director for Reid:

Hi Jack,

Just saw your article on judicial nominations. I think it is good, but there was just one thing (procedurally) I want to clarify.

Everything that we do here in the Senate has to be done by unanimous consent- that includes setting up debate time and scheduling votes.

It only takes one Senator to object to anything. So, that means that Republicans are objecting to us even scheduling a vote. The only way to schedule a vote over these objections is to file cloture.

With Republican cooperation we could confirm every single judge on the calendar today and put them to work ensuring that justice for Americans seeking redress in our overwhelmed court system is no longer denied or delayed. Republicans have used their ability to draw out and delay confirmation as their primary leverage for obstructing the Senate from holding votes on these well-qualified judicial nominees who have volunteered to serve their country. Democrats have asked consent for votes on virtually all of these nominees and Republicans have objected, filibustering these nominations and requiring a cloture petition to be filed in order to secure a vote. Republicans are well aware that it requires approximately three days of Senate floor time to break a filibuster on each these nominees, and that it would therefore take approximately 69 days of Senate floor time, well more than is left in the current Congress, to confirm all of the judicial nominees currently pending on the executive calendar. Their stance is inexcusable and irresponsible.

Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any questions.



Regan Lachapelle

Deputy Communications Director

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid


Anonymous said...

Im a conservative and agree that votes should not be blocked. Vote down every time but allow a vote. Democracy in action. That being said, its rich that someone working on behalf of Sen. Reid is at ease complaining of others irresponsible/inexcusable tactics.

Anonymous said...

Dear Deputy Communications Director and Mr. Betts

Please address your parties (Democrats) inexcusable and irresponsible ability to schedule a vote on passing a budget before the November election.

Thank you,

An average Joe disgusted with congress.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how the democrats whine about the republicans blocking their nominees when the democrats did the EXACT same thing to Bush's nominees.

Turnabout is fair play.