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    Sheldon Whitehouse Steamrolls Republican Caucus – Jack McConnell Survives Cloture Vote

    Sheldon Whitehouse Steamrolls Republican Caucus – Jack McConnell Survives Cloture Vote

    Sheldon Whitehouse has steamrolled over the Republican caucus, and his nominee for the Rhode Island federal District Court, John J. “Jack” McConnell, Jr., will get a floor vote which Democrats have the votes to win.

    The final vote was 63-33 (with one “present”).  By my count watching the vote, here are the Republicans who voted in favor of cloture (limiting debate):

    S. Brown

    After it was clear the Democrats had the votes, Republicans Chambliss and Isakson also voted for the cloture petition.

    After the vote, Harry Reid said it will make “this will make the atmosphere around here so much more pleasant.”

    This is a bad vote for these Republican Senators. If they think that the courtesies will be reciprocated by the Democrats in the future, they are sorely mistaken.

    (Added) Sheldon Whitehouse was not very gracious in his remarks after the vote.  He said (my paraphrase) that sometimes there are interest groups who try to control the Senate, but today is a day when the institution prevailed. 

    Updates:  Senator Mitch McConnell’s statement is a must read, in that he completely debunked the claim that there was no precedent for filibustering District Court nominees.  In fact, Senator McConnell rattled off a long list of District Court and higher court judicial filibusters by Democrats, ending with this:

    “Mr. President [of the Senate], I agree that filibusters of judicial nominees should be used sparingly. Unfortunately, our friends on the other side of the aisle have filibustered judicial nominees whenever it suited their purposes to do so, whether it was to defeat nominees like Miguel Estrada, or to leverage other nominees like with the Stewart nomination. Given their persistent enthusiasm for the judicial filibuster, I do not view our Democratic friends as the arbiters of filibuster propriety.

    On the floor vote at approximately 5:50 p.m. today, the vote was 50-44.  I’m pretty sure that all of the Republicans who voted for closture voted against the nomination, but I’m checking.

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    Is it insulting too many villages to call that mangy crew the "idiot eight"? They certainly don't have the courage of tin men, and we need some apt but suitable 'handle' for them while we work toward their enforced retirement.

    McCain? I really think he can best be a good American by resigning/retiring at this point.
    Thune- good thing he's not running, I'm no longer what side he's on. Even my dog runs out of the room when Sheldon Whitehouse is on TV.

    Scott Brown, like the others you noted, I send emails, but obviously the cash is already on the way. Are you sure you don't want to be a federal judge? Keep up the good work!

    Based on what I've read on this blog, this McConnell guy is an extreme partisan. How do those Republican senators justify to themselves and their Republican constituents not filibustering him? Technically, they're violating their oath to uphold the Constitution because they're simply rubber stamping the appointee. I can't imagine a potential appointee more suited for filibuster than one whose objectivity is likely to be blinded by his partisanship.

    As I said on the Althouse blog this morning, just be grateful McCain didn't win the presidency. With a huge Democratic majority in the House, and a filibuster proof Democratic Senate, is there any doubt that with Pelosi and Reid controlling the legislative agenda Mr. "Reach Across the Aisle and Compromise" McCain would have forced the Republicans to work with Pelosi and Reid on healthcare, cap & trade, immigration reform to get it all passed? And with bi-partisan support, there would be absolutely no chance to repeal it if we're lucky enough to take back the Senate and Presidency in 2012.

    In hindsight, the McCain loss in the 2008 presidential election was a huge blessing.

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