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Leahy: Filibustering SCOTUS Pick ‘Unprecedented’ Except For ‘Show Filibusters,’ Voted Against Cloture for Alito


Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who voted against cloture for Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court nomination, stated that a filibuster of President Obama’s nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia would be “totally unprecedented” but that there have been “show filibusters” on Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Wolf.”

Leahy said, “If they decided to filibuster, it’d be totally unprecedented. I mean, we — Clarence Thomas had a close vote, but certainly less than 60 votes in the Senate. we’ve had a lot of nominees, less than 60. i think what we have to do is stop looking at some of these things, the Republicans are talking about the Republican playbook, not what the country needs, but what the Republican playbook says. This is the playbook we should follow, the Constitution of the United States. And the Constitution makes it very clear, there’s a vacancy, the president nominates somebody, and then the Senate votes them up or down. That’s always been the way.”

He added that a filibuster, “would be irresponsible. We’ve had show filibusters before, you might vote on somebody for an hour, and then go on to it, just to express displeasure with the nominee. But in the 40 years I’ve been there, nobody, nobody has actually worked seriously to block a vote on a Supreme Court nominee, be it the Republicans or Democrats.”

Back in 2006, Leahy was one of the 25 senators who voted against cloture on the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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