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Graham Warns Partisan Votes for Judges If McConnell Goes Nuclear

Image: Graham Warns Partisan Votes for Judges If McConnell Goes Nuclear
(Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 03 Apr 2017 01:44 PM

There will be a partisan vote on every federal judge nominee if a filibuster occurs and forces Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to seek the "nuclear option" and approve Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on a one-party vote, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday.

"We will have a partisan vote on every federal judges — at least on the circuit and Supreme Court level," Graham told a gaggle of reporters on Monday, reports MSNBC. "Reaching across the aisle will be a thing of the past. You will get more ideological judges and it makes every Senate seat a referendum on the future of the Supreme Court. That is what happens when you are within one party."

He made his comments after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, had argued that if Gorsuch can't win 60 votes, Trump should nominate another judge.

"President [Donald] Trump did a good job of picking Neil Gorsuch," Graham said. "That's a slap on Judge Gorsuch that's unjustified. There's nothing wrong with Neil Gorsuch. What's wrong is the Senate."

If a filibuster isn't avoided though 60 votes in the Senate, McConnell will have no other choice, said Graham, and that will be devastating, as it will end a "tradition of the Senate" in which presidents can pick their justices.

"It's sad, but it's where we are," Graham said, noting that he voted for both Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

"I said I would vote for [Hillary] Clinton's nominee if she won," said Graham. "But we've entered a new phase in the Senate. It will be a partisan exercise [with] no need to reach across the aisle."

There is nothing to "negotiate," said Graham.

"What is there to negotiate?" he said. "Sotomayor and Kagan went straight to the floor. Both of them got over 60 votes."

Graham also discussed the ongoing issues with the House Intelligence Committee, saying he was glad that Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, was able to see the same information Chairman Devin Nunes had viewed about incidental collection of information from Trump staffers.

"I hope every person on the committee can look at it," said Graham. "I want to get to the bottom of who's leaking. The president of the United States should be able to conduct a phone call with a foreign leader without reading about it in the press. Leaking classified information doesn't help the cause."

The big issue, he continued, is what will be done about Russia's attempts to interfere in the election, noting that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called it like an "act of war."

"Whether that's accurate or not, it's in the spirit of attacking our country," said Graham. "The Russians tried to undermine the 2016 election ...we should bring a bill to the floor to impose additional sanctions on the [Vladimir] Putin regime for trying to interfere in our election. They're headed to France and Germany next, the Russians."

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There will be a partisan vote on every federal judge nominee if a filibuster occurs and forces Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to seek the "nuclear option" and approve Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on a one-party vote, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday.
lindsey graham, partisan, votes, judges, mitch mcconnell, nuclear, neil gorsuch
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2017-44-03
Monday, 03 Apr 2017 01:44 PM
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