- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Democratic Sens. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd have repeatedly voted to continue filibusters against nearly a dozen nominees for the appellate courts. In the case of Mr. Biden, who has presidential ambitions, one would think that he would have learned to tell the truth after he was forced to withdraw from the 1988 race following revelations involving his serial speech plagiarism and his reflexive lies about his academic achievements.

Appearing with Mr. Biden on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl implored Mr. Biden to give the nominees an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. “If you don’t like these [judicial nominees], if you think they are too radical from your point of view,” Mr. Kyl said, “vote against them. Joe, on March 19, 1997, that’s exactly what you said ought to happen on the Senate floor: Candidates ought to receive an up-or-down vote.”

In response, Mr. Biden falsely asserted, “I didn’t say that.”

Well, here is what Mr. Biden said on the Senate floor on March 19, 1997, according to the Congressional Record: “[I]t is totally appropriate for any U.S. senator to voice his or her opposition to any nominee for the court,” Mr. Biden argued. “But I also respectfully suggest that everyone who is nominated is entitled to have a shot, to have a hearing and to have a shot to be heard on the floor and have a vote on the floor,” Mr. Biden said. “It is totally appropriate for Republicans to reject every single nominee if they want to. That is within their right. But it is not … appropriate not to have hearings on them, not to bring them to the floor and not to allow a vote.”

Regarding Mr. Dodd’s prevarication, consider his assertion at the April 19 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, where he succeeded in postponing the scheduled vote on Mr. Bolton. With a straight face, he declared that it was “rare indeed for me to express objection to a nominee.”

In fact, as Robert Novak meticulously detailed in his Monday column, Mr. Dodd “has voted against Martin Feldstein (Council of Economic Advisers), James Watt (interior secretary), James Edwards (energy secretary), Raymond Donovan (labor secretary), William Clark (deputy secretary of state and interior secretary), Rex Lee (solicitor general), C. Everett Koop (surgeon general), Kenneth Adelman (arms control director), Edwin Meese (attorney general), Robert Gates (CIA director), Ted Olson (solicitor general), Porter Goss (CIA director), Alberto Gonzales (attorney general), and Supreme Court nominees William Rehnquist, Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. He also opposed [John] Bolton for his current undersecretary of state position and kept the nomination of anti-Castroite Otto Reich as assistant secretary of state from reaching the Senate floor.” It might help the senators’ cause if they would only tell the truth.

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