Sen. Lamar Alexander was one of 11 Republicans to vote for cloture Wednesday on the nomination of John "Jack" McConnell to the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island who then voted against McConnell's final confirmation. The Tennessee Republican explained his position in floor remarks. Excerpt:
Mr. President, the Senate is a body of precedent. One important precedent is that never in Senate history has a President's district court nomination reported by the Judiciary Committee been defeated because of a filibuster, that is, because of a cloture vote. Once a nominee for federal district judge has gotten to the floor, the majority of senators have made the decision in an up-or-down vote.
Therefore, I will vote today for cloture in order to allow an up-or-down vote on the President's nomination of John McConnell. Then, I will vote "no" on confirmation because I believe he is a flawed nominee.
- Providence Journal, "Third time the charm: McConnell confirmed"
- Washington Times, "Up-down vote gives Obama 20th 2011 judicial OK"
- Legal News Line, "Senate affirms trial lawyer's nomination to federal judgeship"