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Chambliss: We Must Not Delay Vote on Alito

Location: Washington, DC


U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today issued the following statement regarding Senate Democrats forcing a delay to the final vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito. "I am profoundly disappointed that Democrat Senators have inexplicably asked for further delay in Senate action on the nation's business. Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have asked for another week's delay in consideration of the nomination of Justice Samuel Alito.

"After praising Justice Sandra Day O'Connor for months, Democrat Senators seem to have little consideration for Justice O'Connor's expressed desire to return to private life to, among other things, care for an ailing spouse. Justice O'Connor has agreed to continue to serve on the Court past her intended date of departure until her successor is confirmed, but this has been a great personal sacrifice. The Democrats recent action seems an odd way of recognizing her sacrifice and contribution to this nation, and delay further a full time replacement on the Court, hindering the efficient operation of that branch of our government.

"Moreover, as Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter has noted, he agreed to delay the hearings into January, in part, to take into account anticipated requests for delay by Democrats. Those already-delayed hearings have now concluded. They reflected well on the Committee and its Chairman. There has been a full and open examination of Justice Alito. Chairman Specter announced back in November, 2005 that the judiciary committee would vote on Judge Alito's nomination on January 17. Democrats waited until last week to object to that scheduled date, and for no reason other than that they can under the committee rules.

"This latest example of delay follows last month's filibuster of extending the PATRIOT Act. That Act provided the vital tools necessary to law enforcement and the intelligence communities to protect this nation from further terrorist attacks.

"Unfortunately, both efforts reflect the total absence of a positive agenda for by the other party. I regret their decision to proceed as they have. I nevertheless look forward to the eventual up or down vote on Justice Alito as well as the Conference Report to the extend the PATRIOT Act."

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