Roll Call: Democrats Block Votes on Two Judge Nominations

On October 30, by a vote of 54 to 43, the Senate failed to invoke cloture, to stop debate and proceed to a floor vote on the nomination of Charles Pickering to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Sixty votes were required to invoke cloture.

Democrats have been playing politics with Pickering’s nomination ever since Bush first named him to the circuit court two years ago, (see HUMAN EVENTS, April 15, 2002 issue). Pickering would be easily confirmed if only the Senate were able to take an up-or-down vote.

This latest vote on his nomination was shrewdly planned by Republicans to occur less than one week before the November 4 Mississippi gubernatorial election.

By forcing national Democrats to play politics with the elder Pickering-a prominent, popular figure in the state for his role in state politics and his participation in forums on racial reconciliation-Republicans put Mississippi’s Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove in an extremely uncomfortable position. Musgrove then lost re-election to Republican Haley Barbour the following week.

Independent liberal Sen. Jim Jeffords (I.-Vt.) also voted for Pickering, for unknown reasons. Speculation focuses on a possible deal with the GOP leadership and/or his personal friendship with Pickering.

A “yes” vote was a vote to invoke cloture and proceed to an up-or-down vote on conservative Judge Charles Pickering’s nomination to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. A “no” vote was a vote against cloture and was, in effect, a vote against Pickering.

FOR THE CLOTURE MOTION: 54 AGAINST THE CLOTURE MOTION: 43
REPUBLICANS FOR (51):
Alexander
Allard
Allen
Bennett
Bond
Brownback
Bunning
Burns
Campbell
Chafee
Chambliss
Cochran
Coleman
Collins
Cornyn
Craig
Crapo
DeWine
Dole
Domenici
Ensign
Enzi
Fitzgerald
Frist
Graham (S.C.)
Grassley
Gregg
Hagel
Hatch
Hutchison
Inhofe
Kyl
Lott
Lugar
McCain
McConnell
Murkowski
Nickles
Roberts
Santorum
Sessions
Shelby
Smith
Snowe
Specter
Stevens
Sununu
Talent
Thomas
Voinovich
Warner

DEMOCRATS FOR (2):
Breaux
Miller

INDEPENDENT FOR (1):
Jeffords

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (0):

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (43):
Akaka
Baucus
Bayh
Biden
Bingaman
Boxer
Byrd
Cantwell
Carper
Clinton
Conrad
Corzine
Daschle
Dayton
Dodd
Dorgan
Durbin
Feingold
Feinstein
Graham (Fla.)
Harkin
Hollings
Inouye
Johnson
Kennedy
Kohl
Landrieu
Lautenberg
Leahy
Levin
Lieberman
Lincoln
Mikulski
Murray
Nelson
Pryor
Reed (R.I.)
Reid (Nev.)
Rockefeller
Sarbanes
Schumer
Stabenow
Wyden

NOT VOTING: 3

REPUBLICANS (0): DEMOCRATS (3):
Edwards
Kerry
Nelson (Neb.)

Likewise, on November 6, by a vote of 51 to 43, Democrats once again prevented an up-or-down vote on the nomination of William Pryor, the elected Republican attorney general of Alabama, to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In doing so, they showed their stubbornness and inability to learn a lesson from voters, who have repeatedly punished Democrats ever since they began filibustering judges in 2002.

Sixty votes were required to achieve cloture, to stop debate and proceed to a vote on the nomination for Pryor, whom Democrats oppose because he is conservative. Jeffords returned to form and voted against Pryor.

A “yes” vote was a vote to invoke cloture and proceed to a vote on the Pryor nomination. A “no” vote was a vote against cloture and was, in effect, a vote against Pryor.

FOR THE CLOTURE MOTION: 51 AGAINST THE CLOTURE MOTION: 43
REPUBLICANS FOR (49):
Alexander
Allard
Allen
Bennett
Bond
Brownback
Bunning
Burns
Chafee
Chambliss
Cochran
Coleman
Collins
Cornyn
Craig
Crapo
DeWine
Dole
Domenici
Ensign
Enzi
Fitzgerald
Frist
Graham (S.C.)
Grassley
Gregg
Hagel
Hatch
Hutchison
Inhofe
Kyl
Lott
Lugar
McCain
McConnell
Murkowski
Nickles
Roberts
Santorum
Sessions
Shelby
Smith
Snowe
Specter
Stevens
Talent
Thomas
Voinovich
Warner

DEMOCRATS FOR (2):
Miller
Nelson (Neb.)

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (0):

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (42):
Akaka
Baucus
Bayh
Biden
Bingaman
Boxer
Breaux
Byrd
Cantwell
Carper
Clinton
Conrad
Corzine
Daschle
Dodd
Dorgan
Durbin
Feingold
Feinstein
Graham (Fla.)
Harkin
Hollings
Inouye
Johnson
Kennedy
Kohl
Landrieu
Lautenberg
Leahy
Levin
Lieberman
Lincoln
Mikulski
Murray
Nelson
Pryor
Reed (R.I.)
Reid (Nev.)
Rockefeller
Sarbanes
Schumer
Stabenow
Wyden

INDEPENDENT AGAINST (1):
Jeffords

NOT VOTING: 6

REPUBLICANS (2): DEMOCRATS (4):
Campbell
Sununu
Dayton
Edwards
Kerry
Nelson (Neb.)


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