WSJ: GOP Copies Democrats on Judicial Filibuster

Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013 01:02 PM

By Dan Weil

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Democrats are crying foul over Senate Republicans’ successful filibuster last week to block the appointment of Caitlin Halligan, President Barack Obama’s choice for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“But Republicans are merely following the filibuster precedent that Democrats set when George W. Bush was President. Turnabout is unfair play,” according to a Wall Street Journal editorial Tuesday.

Senate Democrats started using the filibuster against GOP judicial nominees in 2001, according to the Journal, which listed five examples, including the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

“Democrats tried to filibuster Justice Alito in 2006 even after a much-ballyhooed deal by the so-called Senate Gang of 14 that was supposed to allow up-or-down votes except in ‘extraordinary circumstances,’” the Journal observed.

Obama was part of the filibuster “because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values, you know,” he told ABC at the time.

“Republicans are now applying that Obama Standard to Ms. Halligan, who is among Mr. Obama’s most liberal nominees,” the Journal said.

Republicans also are mimicking their Democratic predecessors in blocking a nominee to the D.C. Circuit, the editorial noted. Democrats spent three years, starting in 2006, preventing former Acting Attorney General Peter Keisler from joining that court.

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