That Was Then, This Is Now

Senator Pat Leahy, on the Senate floor, March 7, 2000 (p. S 1210):

The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court said:

The Senate is surely under no obligation to confirm any particular nominee, but after the necessary time for inquiry, it should vote him up or vote him down.

Which is exactly what I would like.

Senator Charles Schumer, same day (p. S 1211):

The basic issue of holding up judgeships is the issue before us, not the qualifications of judges, which we can always debate. The problem is it takes so long for us to debate those qualifications. It is an example of Government not fulfilling its constitutional mandate because the President nominates, and we are charged with voting on the nominees. The Constitution does not say if the Congress is controlled by a different party than the President there shall be no judges chosen. But that is sometimes how the majority has functioned.
I also plead with my colleagues to move judges with alacrity

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