What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : Judicial Nominations : On bringing debate to a close on the nomination of David F. Hamilton to be a judge for the 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals/On the motion
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On bringing debate to a close on the nomination of David F. Hamilton to be a judge for the 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals/On the motion
senate Roll Call 349     Nov 17, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on bringing debate to a close on the nomination of David F. Hamilton, nominated by President Obama to serve as a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals. Hamilton was Obama’s first judge to be nominated for an appeals court and had been held up for months by Republicans, who criticized Hamilton for his work for the American Civil Liberties Union and for court decisions he made involving prayer and abortion.

Republicans continued to threaten a filibuster, necessitating the need for a vote on bringing debate to a close. If the Senate votes to “invoke cloture” then lawmakers must either hold a vote on the legislation, amendment or motion in question, or move on to other business. This type of motion is most often called on contentious legislation where the leadership is concerned that consideration could be held up indefinitely by a handful of senators.

Filibustering Hamilton, and other Democratic judicial nominees, backfired on Republicans as the cloture debate opened, with Democrats dredging up comments from Republicans who criticized Democrats for filibustering several of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees. Republicans argued in response that the rules have changed.

By a vote of 70-29, the Senate voted to bring debate to a close. Every Democrat present voted to bring debate to a close. Of Republicans present, 10 voted to bring debate to a close and 29 voted against. The end result is that the Senate closed debate on the nomination of David F. Hamilton, cutting off the threat of a Republican filibuster, which requires 60 votes to defeat. The Senate then moved on to a vote on actually confirming Hamilton (see vote 350).

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