Democrats already talking filibuster nearly two months before hearings begin

Washington, DC- With confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel A. Alito not beginning until Jan. 9, 2006, the Left has already begun to apply litmus tests to the nomination, and is openly considering a filibuster. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was quoted by CNN the day after the nomination saying, “The filibuster’s on the table.” This week Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) threatened Judge Alito by telling him “you may need my vote relating to a filibuster.” It is obvious that the left has already jumped to conclusions and may be planning to impede the Senate’s fulfilling its role in the confirmation process.

As the constitution states, “the President shall nominate, by and with the consent of the Senate, … [and] Judges of the Supreme Court.” Now that President Bush has effectively done so, it is up to the Senate to take the proper steps to analyze the nomination and provide for an up or down vote. As Senator Orrin Hatch said in his Senate Judiciary Subcommittee testimony in 2001, “the Senate’s responsibility to provide advice and consent does not include an ideological litmus test because a nominee’s personal opinions are largely irrelevant so long as the nominee can set those opinions aside and follow the law fairly and impartially as a judge.”

“For the left to be considering a filibuster nearly two months before hearings begin shows that they are applying a litmus test to this nominee before he is even given an opportunity to testify,” said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The Left should follow the founding principles of the Republic, and give the nominee a fair up or down vote in the Senate.”

Americans for Tax Reform has called on the Senate to meet its constitutional obligations and ensure a speedy confirmation process with an up or down vote.