Senate GOP Allows Reid to Confirm Radical Judge by Voice Vote

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues

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Earlier this week, we issued an alert about the pending confirmation of a radical pro-abortionist, Andrew Hurwitz, to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Sadly, 8 Republicans helped Harry Reid win a cloture vote to shut off debate, paving the road for Hurwitz’s confirmation.

Once Reid won cloture on the Hurwitz nomination, he only needed 51 votes to win confirmation – a forgone conclusion with 53 Democrat votes in the Senate.  Nonetheless, it is important that every senator be afforded the opportunity to cast his/her official vote on a nominee to such a high court.  To that end, it is shocking and appalling that Harry Reid would seek to confirm Hurwitz by voice vote without notifying his fellow senators.  What is even more egregious is the fact that Republicans didn’t object.

A voice vote is an expedited procedure reserved for non-controversial issues when one member goes to the floor and asks for unanimous consent to pass a bill.  If nobody objects, the bill becomes law as if a vote had taken place.  Despite the fact that most Republicans opposed the Hurwitz nomination, Reid went to the floor when it was practically empty and asked for unanimous consent.  The problem is that the Republican floor manager on the nomination was none other than Jon Kyl, a supporter of Hurwitz.  So in a case of the fox guarding the hen house, a pro-Hurwitz Republican declined to notify his colleagues that Reid planned to voice vote the nomination.  This gives the erroneous appearance that Hurwitz was confirmed unanimously without dissent.

Amazingly, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, was not informed of the voice vote.  Grassley was not to happy: (National Journal)

“I find this to be quite irregular and outside the recent precedents of the Senate,” Grassley said. “Typically, members are informed of such actions in advance. I was not so informed, and I’m the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. I certainly did not intend to yield my time. And, in fact, I intended on speaking further on the nominee.”

So we have the number 1 ranking Republican who refuses to call on Eric Holder to resign; we have the number 2 member who supports a radical judicial nominee and refuses to notify his fellow Republicans of a breach in protocol.  Folks, this is why the Senate Republican Conference is so weak.