Thumbnail image for breaking.jpgI wrote May 23 that Senate Republicans were threatening to do something if Senate Democrats didn’t fulfill promises to confirm more judges.
When I emailed a source asking what that was, the source responded, “As [Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell] told the Senators, ‘You will recognize it when you see it.'”
Well, this afternoon we’re seeing it….

After releasing a statement this morning (reprinted in full below) McConnell used a parliamentary tactic to, in essence, shut down the Senate.
Senate rules require that when an amendment is introduced the clerk begin to read the text. The senator introducing the measure then requests consent that the reading be dispensed with. There is rarely an objection.
Today, however, McConnell objected and is forcing reading of the Boxer substitute to the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Bill.
And that would be 491 pages long.
A Wall Street Journal editorial yesterday closed with:

A new Rasmussen study shows that the type of Supreme Court Justices a presidential candidate would appoint outranks even the war as a priority among GOP voters. Democrats are hoping to gain as many as nine Senate seats this fall, which means Republicans had better find a way to show voters that they matter – and soon.

They just did. Hope they stick to their guns.
Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senate Republican Leader
For Immediate Release, Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Don Stewart 202-224-2979, Robert Steurer 202-224-8288,
Courtney Norris 202-224-8285, Jennifer Morris 202-224-6871
McConnell Responds to Democrats’ Refusal to Honor Commitments on Judicial Nominations

‘The Democratic Majority has refused to honor its commitments. It apparently believes that commitments do not matter in the United States Senate, and that actions do not have consequences’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement today regarding the Democratic Majority’s refusal to honor commitments on judicial nominations:
“The Democratic Majority has repeatedly failed to treat the judicial nominees fairly.
“At the beginning of this Congress, the Majority said it would meet or exceed the average of 17 circuit court nominees that have been confirmed in prior Congresses; yet it has only confirmed eight circuit court judges thus far. More disturbing, the Chairman of the Committee recently threatened to shut down the confirmation process completely, an action that would break yet another historical precedent.
“The Majority said it would treat Republican senate delegations fairly; yet for months, the Democratic Majority has only worked on circuit court nominees from states with a Democratic senator.
“The Majority said it would do its ‘utmost,’ said it would do ‘everything’ possible, said it would do ‘everything within its power’ to confirm three more circuit court nominees by the Memorial Day recess; yet it only confirmed one nominee. Moreover, it appears the Majority did not seriously attempt to honor its commitment. Indeed, since that deadline passed almost two weeks ago, the Democratic Majority has still failed to confirm more circuit court nominees.
“The Democratic Majority has refused to honor its commitments. It apparently believes that commitments do not matter in the United States Senate, and that actions do not have consequences.
“The actions of our Democratic colleagues today are short-sighted. It is important that judicial emergencies are filled with qualified judges, and we will use the various tools at our disposal to ensure that those nominees and the Republican Conference are treated fairly, and that the Majority takes its commitments seriously.”

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