I’m sitting in the Senate Juduciary Committee executive meeting where Senator Leahy confirmed what we had been hearing — despite the fact that David Ogden’s nomination to be Deputy Attorney General was reported out on a vote of 14-5, with three Republicans including the ranking member in support — the Republican caucus is going to filibuster the nomination on the floor. All this because Ogden had the temerity while in public practice to stand up for the First Amendment and a woman’s right to choose.
Senator Leahy also flagged the absurdity — which People For noted earlier this week — that the entire Republican caucus is threatening to filibuster President Obama’s judicial nominees even before a single nomination is put forward. Senator Leahy noted that Republicans and their allies may want the President to fail, but that the American people surely do not. For the good of all of us, he said, President Obama needs to succeed. And that certainly means moving the President’s nominees through expeditiously.
By the way, the final votes on the nominations of Elena Kagan — who will be the first woman confirmed as Solicitor General — and Tom Perrelli — nominated to be Assistant Attorney General — were both held up by the Republicans at the last executive meeting. The vote today? 13-3 and either 17-1 or 16-2. (There was some confusion about the last vote – will report back when it’s clarified.)
UPDATE: So, it looks like the planned filibuster of the Ogden nomination may be losing some steam. Thanks to Senator Leahy for exposing the Republican obstructionism to the light of day. Also, the Committee has clarified the vote on Tom Perrelli’s nomination: it was 17-1, with Senator Coburn as the only "no" vote.