Cloture Voted on Justice Owen

A little while ago, the Senate voted 81-18 to close debate on the nomination of Justice Priscilla Owen to the Court of Appeals. Eighteen Democrats voted “no;” it’s a pretty good roster of the far left: BIden, Boxer, Cantwell, Corzine, our own Mark Dayton, Dodd, Dorgan, Feingold, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Levin, Lincoln, Murray, Reed, Sarbanes and Stabenow. Hillary C. voted “yes” along with 25 other Democrats. All of the Republicans voted “yes.”
I don’t really understand the “no” vote by 18 Democrats. What was the point? They will have the opportunity to vote against Justice Owen in the vote on the merits, which I believe will take place tomorrow. They certainly didn’t vote “no” because they had something more to say about Owen, about whom the debate has already been endless. So I can only interpret the “no” vote on cloture as a protest against yesterday’s compromise, or as a symbolic way of voting against Owen twice.

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