Friday, May 06, 2011

11 RINOs Put Abortionist on Federal Bench

Eleven GOP Senators broke a Republican filibuster to pave the way for John J. McConnell, former director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island, to be confirmed for a lifetime federal judgeship.
Had 4 of the 11 Republicans who voted for cloture not done so, the nomination would have failed.
Read related article: GOP Senate RINOs Fund Planned Parenthood

-- From "RI lawyer confirmed as US judge; GOP block fails" by The Associated Press 5/5/11

A trial lawyer nominated by President Barack Obama to be a federal judge in Rhode Island was confirmed on a party-line vote Wednesday just hours after a Senate GOP filibuster attempt failed.

The Senate voted 50-44 to confirm lawyer John McConnell to the bench after a more significant 63-33 tally to advance the nomination past a filibuster orchestrated by GOP leaders.

Eleven Republicans joined with Democrats in the earlier vote to break the filibuster. GOP leaders opposed McConnell, citing his record as a trial lawyer in cases against businesses. Republicans also said McConnell was less than truthful in his testimony to the Senate.

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From "Senate Approves Former Planned Parenthood Director as Judge" by Steven Ertelt, 5/4/11

Senate Republicans joining all Democrats to end debate and approve McConnell include [Lamar Alexander of Tennessee,] Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Susan Collins of Maine, Lyndsey Graham of South Carolina, [Saxby Chambliss and] Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and John Thune of South Dakota.

Before the vote, several senators suggested McConnell lied or offered contradictory sworn statements about a lead paint case in which he was involved.

“I don’t know how I can say it any more gently,” said Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, during floor debate. “The fact is, he lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation process.”

Pro-life advocates say McConnell is a pro-abortion stalwart who doesn’t deserve a place in the federal courts. In fact, McConnell disclosed in his public questionnaire that he was director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island from 1997 until 2001.

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From "McConnell confirmed for lower court" by Abby Phillip, Politico 5/4/11

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has rarely filed for cloture for Obama’s judicial nominees, a move that could help push controversial nominees toward final confirmation. However, this requires 60 votes and can potentially eat up limited floor time as a result of debate.

But with the Democrats overcoming this hurdle with McConnell, advocates see a clear opening for other District court picks now that one of the president’s most controversial lower-court nominee is on his way to eventual confirmation.

Moreover, it bolsters an argument liberals have been making for months when they've called on the White House to more aggressively push for cloture votes on stalled nominees. They have long believed that Democrats could count on the votes of some Republican senators who were a part of the 2005 "Gang of 14," which negotiated a compromise on some of Bush's judicial picks.

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From "11 Republican Senators Permit Former Planned Parenthood Director to Become Federal Judge" by Fred Lucas, 5/5/11

All 11 Republicans who voted for cloture—and thus to allow McConnell’s nomination to proceed—turned around and voted against the nomination itself on the final vote. That vote succeeded 50 to 44 and McConnell was confirmed.

[Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia], and other Republicans, said they did not want to duplicate the tactics of Senate Democrats who blocked numerous of President George W. Bush judicial nominees by refusing to support a cloture vote that would allow their nominations to come up for a final vote on the Senate floor.

“As a member of the ‘Gang of 14’ in 2005, I agreed that ‘Nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances,’” [Sen. John] McCain said before the vote. “The nomination of Mr. McConnell does not rise to a level of ‘extraordinary circumstances.’ However, I am deeply troubled by Mr. McConnell’s less than candid responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee, his liberal judicial philosophy, including his public antipathy toward private enterprise, and his strong political activism. For these reasons, I will not support his nomination.”

In a floor speech, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called Jack McConnell and fine man and praised Republican senators for allowing the McConnell nomination to come to the floor.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.