In a letter released yesterday, all 41 Senate Republicans threatened to filibuster President Obama's judicial nominees unless they were given veto power over judges from their states. The letter also demanded that President Obama renominate Bush nominees like Peter Keisler, Glen Conrad and Paul Diamond.
"The Republicans are doing everything in their power to cement their reputation as the 'Party of No,'" said People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert. "Voters gave President Obama a mandate to appoint judges who understand that the Constitution and the laws provide for equal justice for all. Now, before a single nomination has been announced, Republicans are threatening to block every single one of Obama's nominees. That's chutzpah."
Kolbert pointed out that over the last eight years, the vast majority of President Bush's judges were confirmed by the Senate, despite the fact that President Bush refused to include Senators in the process. President Obama's counsel Gregory Craig has already reached out to Senators about potential nominees.
"The Senate has an important role in the confirmation process, and in extreme cases when the President has refused to consult with the Senate, the minority has tools to obstruct nominees who are obviously unfit for the bench. Obama looks to be clearing that standard easily," said Kolbert. "But it was only a few years ago that the GOP was willing to blow up the Senate in order to eliminate the filibuster entirely. They told anyone who would listen that every judicial nominee deserved an up-or-down vote without exception. Apparently, the Senate Republicans have the collective memory of a goldfish."
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- Read the letter here.