Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on May 4th, 2011 :: 2:12:10 to 2:20:35
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Mitch McConnell

2:12:06 to 2:12:16( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: as the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

Mitch McConnell

2:12:10 to 2:20:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell

2:12:35 to 2:12:57( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: quorum call: mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i suggest that the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: the senate will shortly vote on the cloture motion on the jack mcconnell nomination. we have been working in good faith with our democratic colleagues to confirm consensus judicial nominees in general and

Mitch McConnell

2:12:58 to 2:13:19( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: to fill judicial emergencies in particular, so it's disappointing that our democratic friends have chosen to depart from this bipartisan practice and depress the mcconnell nomination, which would not fill a judicial emergency and is about as far from a consensus nomination as one can imagine. mr. mcconnell described his

Mitch McConnell

2:13:20 to 2:13:41( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: judicial philosophy in this way -- "there are wrongs that need to be righted, and that's how i see the law." end quote. in mr. mcconnell's eyes, the wrongdoers in america are invariably its job creators. his legal career has been marked by a pervasive and persistent hostility to american job creators.

Mitch McConnell

2:13:42 to 2:14:03( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: this bias against one part of american society is fundamentally anathetical to the rule of law and it has led him to take troubling actions to show his lifetime position as a fair and impartial judicial officer. for example, he has filed what his hometown newspaper described

Mitch McConnell

2:14:04 to 2:14:24( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: as a ludicrous lawsuit against business. this case ended up costing not just the companies but rhode island taxpayers as well. after the state supreme court unanimously rejected his frivolous legal theory, his clients, the taxpayers, had to pay a quarter of a million dollars in lawyers' fees. rather than be contrite about

Mitch McConnell

2:14:25 to 2:14:46( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: the damage he had done, he lashed out at his state's supreme court, saying it let -- quote -- "wrongdoers off the hook." end quote. he has made other intemperate statements as well that underscore his bias, such as when he insisted that one american industry only does -- quote -- "the right thing" --

Mitch McConnell

2:14:47 to 2:15:09( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: end quote -- when it is forced to and sued by a jury. after a long record of hostilities toward one segment of american society, it's difficult to believe mr. mcconnell can now turn on a dime and administer justice without respect to persons, as the judicial oath requires. the business community doesn't think so and it's easy to see why. in fact, the united states chamber of commerce has never

Mitch McConnell

2:15:10 to 2:15:31( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: before opposed a district court nominee in its 100-year history. not once. yet it is so troubled by mr. mcconnell's clear disdain for the business community that it has taken the extraordinary step of opposing this nomination. senator cornyn pointed out yesterday that there are also serious ethical issues with mr. mcconnell's nomination.

Mitch McConnell

2:15:32 to 2:15:53( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: he pioneered the practice of pay-to-play lawsuits, where he solicited lucrative no-bid contingency fee contracts from public officials. he's given statements to the judiciary committee that are misleading, at best, and untrue, at worst, about his familiarity with the case involving stolen litigation documents. and there's the outstanding matter of the stolen litigation

Mitch McConnell

2:15:54 to 2:16:14( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: documents themselves, over which his law firm and several unnamed john doe named defendants are being sued. in light of all the problems with the mcconnell nomination, i have listened with interest to the astonish -- to the admonishments by the chairman of the judiciary committee and other democratic colleagues against opposing cloture on his

Mitch McConnell

2:16:15 to 2:16:36( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: nomination. i know my record of supporting up-and-down votes for controversial judicial nominees during the administration of president clinton and i'm equally aware that determined efforts by my democratic colleagues to change the ground rules in the senate confirmation process once there was a republican president. my democratic colleagues ultimately succeeded in their

Mitch McConnell

2:16:37 to 2:16:57( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: efforts by repeatedly filibustering president bush's judicial nominees. i wish our friends had not succeeded and not set up that precedent but they did, and the president dent is the -- and the precedent is the precedent and their buyer's remorse again is now that there is a democrat in the oval office will not change it. now, over the years there have

Mitch McConnell

2:16:58 to 2:17:19( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: been bipartisan concerns with judicial no, ma'am expheez cloture has been -- nominees and cloture has been needed to end debate. abe fordice was a case. he was opposed by members on both sides of the aisle and his nomination didn't have majority support let alone the votes needed to invoke cloture. but the partisan filibuster is a more recent development. and our democratic colleagues

Mitch McConnell

2:17:20 to 2:17:40( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: have been the proud pioneers in this area. in 1986, they mounted the first partisan filibuster against a judicial nominee. that nominee, by the way, was a district court nominee, sidney fitzwater. also in 1986, they mounted the first partisan filibuster against a nominee to be chief justice.

Mitch McConnell

2:17:41 to 2:18:01( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: that was chief justice rehnquist's nomination. in 1999, they mounted the first successful partisan filibuster of a judicial nominee. that, too, involved a district court nominee, brian stewart. both the chairman of the judiciary committee and the senior senator from rhode island voted to filibuster mr. stewart.

Mitch McConnell

2:18:02 to 2:18:22( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: and i and all republicans voted actually against filibustering him. our friends' successful filibuster of this nominee is now inconvenient to their narrative about filibuster norms and propriety. they claim that the filibuster doesn't count. i guess they are saying the only -- they only filibustered him to leverage floor votes on other judicial nominees and once

Mitch McConnell

2:18:23 to 2:18:43( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: they got what they wanted, he was confirmed. i gather this is the coercion exception to the body of filibuster precedent that they have created. in 2003, our friends mounted the first successful filibuster of a circuit court nomination. that would be miguel estrada's nomination. he was filibustered seven times, in fact.

Mitch McConnell

2:18:44 to 2:19:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: our democratic colleagues added to this record by filibustering nine other circuit court nominee a total of 21 times. that's a record, too. and the chairman of the judiciary committee and the senior senator from rhode island participated in all of those filibusters as well. and in 2006, led by president obama himself, our democratic

Mitch McConnell

2:19:07 to 2:19:28( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: colleagues mounted the first partisan filibuster of a nominee to be an associate justice of the united states supreme court. that would be the justice alito nomination. our democratic friends from vermont and rhode island joined in that filibuster too. mr. president, i agree that filibusters of judicial nominees should be used sparingly. unfortunately, our friends on

Mitch McConnell

2:19:29 to 2:19:49( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: 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 the stewart nomination, given their persistent enthusiasm for the judicial filibuster, i do not view our democrat friends as the arbiters of filibuster propriety.

Mitch McConnell

2:19:50 to 2:20:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: in this case, i believe the mcconnell nomination is an extraordinary one. he should not be confirmed to a lifetime position on the bench. i will oppose cloture and i would urge my colleagues to do the same. i yield the f the presiding officer: under the previous order report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions

Mitch McConnell

2:20:11 to 2:20:31( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on calendar number 17, s. 493, the sbbir and sttir reauthorization act of 2011. signed by 18 senators. unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived.

Mitch McConnell

2:20:32 to 2:20:35( Edit History Discussion )

Mitch McConnell: the question is: is it the sense of the senate that debate on s.

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