Senate Cloture Vote on David Hamilton, Scheduled for Today

The Senate is scheduled to vote today on whether to end debate on the confirmation of President Obama’s first judicial nominee, Judge David Hamilton, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and thus to allow a vote on Judge Hamilton’s confirmation to go forward.  Some Senate Republicans – in particular, Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee – have stated they will vote against cloture, in other words, that they will filibuster the nomination.

Yesterday, the Senate’s most senior Republican, Richard Lugar, took to the Senate floor not only to support Judge Hamilton’s confirmation, but also to rebut the distortions of Judge Hamilton’s record made by Senator Sessions. The detailed, point by point rebuttal was prepared for Senator Lugar by Republican attorney Peter Rusthoven, former Associate Counsel to President Reagan.  (CAC’s own rebuttal to Senator Sessions’ distortions, which we posted last week, is available here.)

Meanwhile, major news outlets throughout the country are calling out Senator Sessions and his newly-filibuster-happy colleagues this morning, noting their hypocrisy in filibustering Hamilton when they previously sought to eliminate the practice altogether and even labeled it unconstitutional.  The LA Times and Washington Post both called on Republicans to honor their past statements on filibusters and vote in favor of ending debate, with the Post stating that “a vote for Judge Hamilton will be a vote to restore much needed comity and integrity to the process — qualities that the next Republican president will greatly appreciate when his nominees are considered.”  Similarly, NPR’s Morning Edition featured this excellent retrospective of Republicans’ past statements regarding the filibuster.

The cloture vote is scheduled for no earlier than 2:15 this afternoon, preceded by an hour of debate.

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