Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bob Dole Says Vote

Bob Dole provides a history lesson:
The claim Fortas was not confirmed due to a "filibuster" is off-base. A filibuster, commonly understood, occurs when a minority of senators prevents a majority from voting up-or-down on a matter by use or threat of permanent debate.

That simply did not happen with Fortas, where the Senate debated the nomination's merits quite vigorously. Senators exposed the ethical issues involved and the widespread belief the vacancy had been manufactured for political purposes. They sought to use debate to persuade other senators the nomination should be defeated.

After less than a week, the Senate leadership tried to shut down debate. At that time, two-thirds of the senators voting were needed to do so, yet only 45 senators supported the motion. Of the 43 senators who still wished to debate the nomination, 24 were Republicans and 19 were Democrats.
If 24 Republicans and 19 Democrats isn't bipartisan, I don't know how to define that term. It certainly isn't the systematic denial by one party of up or down votes for nominees that have a majority of Senators supporting them.

He concludes:
For the first time, judicial nominees with clear majority support are denied an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor through an unprecedented use of the filibuster. This is not a misrepresentation of history; it's a fact.
It is a fact despite Democrat spin (read: lies) to the contrary.