CONSTITUTION OPTION -- (House of Representatives - May 03, 2005)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the order of the House of January 4, 2005, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot) is recognized during morning hour debates for 5 minutes.
Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, for several years now, President Bush's judicial nominees have been filibustered, including those who would fill four vacancies in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals located in my district in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is unprecedented.
Some would have us believe blocking judicial nominations is a long and revered tradition. Nothing could be further from the truth. Never before have judicial nominees with clear majority support been denied the courtesy of an up-or-down vote. Not once.
The filibuster is not part of the Constitution. It is not even part of the old Senate rules. While it is a useful tool when considering legislation, and should remain as such, we cannot allow filibustering of judicial nominations. Each time a nominee is denied an up-or-down vote, the impact is vast. Not only is our Federal judiciary weakened, but our Constitution becomes more vulnerable; and as chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, let me emphasize that these actions are unprecedented and should be abhorrent to those of us who are bound by oath to uphold our country's most sacred document, the United States Constitution.