Following Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s filing of a petition to force a vote on long-delayed judicial nominee Goodwin Liu, commentators from across the political spectrum have escalated their calls for an end to obstruction of Liu’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, the former White House Chief Ethics Lawyer for President George W. Bush, suggests that a vote against cloture would be contrary to the publicly stated positions of many Republican senators.
“A few right wing bloggers at National Review Online and elsewhere have suggested a filibuster, but it is inconceivable that this could happen unless Republican senators ignore what they have been saying about filibusters for a long time,” Painter writes in Legal Ethics Forum, citing prior written and verbal statements by Sens. John Cornyn, Lamar Alexander, Orrin Hatch and others, all of whom have said that judicial nominees deserve an up-or-down vote.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a similar point in a statement following his motion to invoke cloture, saying: