NO CLOTURE

AP reports that, as expected,

After two straight nights of often droning, sometimes angry debate, the Senate returned to normal order Friday, with Democrats maintaining their filibuster on a judicial nominee they say is too conservative for the American mainstream.

With a 53-42 vote, Democrats succeeded in stopping further action on President Bush’s nomination of Texas judge Priscilla Owen to a seat on a U.S. appeals court. Sixty votes were needed to end the filibuster and bring on a final confirmation vote.

It was the fourth time Republicans have failed to advance the Owen nomination. Despite the nearly 40 hours of exhaustive debate on what the GOP says is Democratic obstructionism on judges, they failed to win a single new Democratic vote. As in past votes, only two Democrats, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Zell Miller of Georgia, voted with the Republicans.

The Senate was also voting to break Democratic resistance to two other nominees, and Republicans, who hold 51 seats in the Senate, conceded they would fall short as they have on a dozen previous votes on controversial appeals court nominees.

Shocking.

As much as I dislike what the Democrats are doing here, the GOP response to it has been rather silly. A pseudo-filibuster–where most Senators were actually allowed to be elsewhere–by the side with the majority is a head scratcher. What it was supposed to accomplish is rather unclear.

(Hat tip: Steven Taylor)

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. bryan says:

    I agree with whoever said they should start the filibuster the day before they are scheduled to go on Thanksgiving break, and vow to stay until the nominees are released. I think you’d see a pretty quick cave by the democrats … as long as the repubs would keep their word and do the thing.

  2. paladin says:

    The Pack should either fish or cut bait – it is humiliating to subject these able candidates to this nonsense. If they can’t get them approved, they should give it up. Who could blame M. Estrada for not wanting to be subjected to this idiocy? If GWB doesn’t care enough for these candidates to go all out on their behalf, he should release them and not use them as some sort of political pawn.

  3. paladin says:

    The Pack should either fish or cut bait – it is humiliating to subject these able candidates to this nonsense. If they can’t get them approved, they should give it up. Who could blame M. Estrada for not wanting to be subjected to this idiocy? If GWB doesn’t care enough for these candidates to go all out on their behalf, he should release them and not use them as some sort of political pawn.