Last night John responded to a second email message from Sidney Blumenthal, this one suggesting that our “readers would like to see in easy table form exactly the means by which President Clinton’s judicial nominees were blocked.” He provided the URL linking to this chart illustrating Dianne Feinstein’s speech on Clinton’s blocked judicial nominees. See John’s response in the update to “Blumenthal responds, sort of.”
The chart illustrates that not a single one of the 65 blocked Clinton judicial nominees referred to in Blumenthal’s May 26 Guardian column was filibustered. Indeed, no Clinton judicial nominee was filibustered during his eight years in office.
Blumenthal had nevertheless stated in his column that gave rise to our original post: “Frist, like most Republicans in favour of the nuclear option, had enthusiastically filibustered against Clinton’s court nominees, 65 of which were blocked from 1995-2000.” This was the issue that our reader emailed Blumenthal to dispute (see “Close enough for Vicious work”), and the issue on which Blumenthal cited the single (erroneous) example of Richard Paez. The vote in favor of the cloture motion regarding the nomination of Richard Paez to the Ninth Circuit was 85-14 (click here.) Frist joined thirteen other Republicans in unsuccessfully opposing cloture.
Now Blumenthal offers the chart of blocked Clinton judicial nominees “so that our readers can judge for themselves the facts of the matter.” It all comes clear to me now. Blumenthal indeed has a point; we should have known all along. It depends upon what the meaning of “filibuster” is.
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