Stunning Democrats in the Senate, freshman Louisiana Senator David Vitter yesterday did what none have done before.
David Vitter, R-La., used his floor speech to call on senior colleague Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., to support Bush nominations and end filibusters blocking seven judges.
One of the nominees is Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which handles federal court appeals from Louisiana.
Democrats have blocked Owen’s nomination four times since 2001. “We have judicial nominations not nominated months ago or weeks ago, but years ago,” Vitter said. “That’s not fair.”
Vitter criticized Landrieu for supporting the filibuster of judicial nominee Miguel Estrada after expressing support of him during her re-election campaign. Vitter urged Landrieu to buck Democratic party leaders, calling the filibusters “obstructionism.”
Senator Landrieu issued a lame response saying “that Owen’s appointment and those of a handful of others are being held up over process, not credentials. She urged him to consider the Senate’s ‘proper role’ in appointment and confirmation.” Former Louisiana Senator J. Bennett Johnston, who was watching the debate, was appalled that Vitter would dare challenge another Senator to keep a campaign promise. “That is just not done,” Johnston said.