- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hillary Clinton said she has no guilt for trying to filibuster Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s nomination while she served in the Senate, nor for voting against Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s nomination.

She said her actions weren’t partisan and are no excuse for Senate Republicans to delay the process of filling the court vacancy after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

“I did oppose Justice Alito and, as you say, Chief Justice Roberts because after meeting with them, listening to them, I did not believe that their judicial philosophy and approach was one that would be the best for the country,” Mrs. Clinton said to Chuck Todd, who moderated MSNBC’s Democratic town hall event Thursday.

“So I spoke against him, I voted against him, but we had a process,” Mrs. Clinton said. “The nomination was made, and we went through the process. What the Republicans today are saying is you can’t vote on anything. We don’t want the president to send us a nominee. I think that is very different.

“What I am saying is, No. 1, the president has the right and the obligation under the Constitution to send forth a nominee, and the Senate has an obligation under the Constitution to decide whether to approve or not,” Mrs. Clinton said.

When Mr. Todd challenged Mrs. Clinton saying if her filibuster of Justice Alito was successful, his nomination would never had come to a vote, Mrs. Clinton blamed Senate procedure.

“That’s the way the Senate operates,” Mrs. Clinton replied. “You get to have a vote, you get to use the rules — Harry Reid’s sitting here — he’s a master of the rules — you get to use the rules that happens a lot.”

On Wednesday, President Obama, who also moved to filibuster Justice Alito’s nomination, expressed regret for the action.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Mr. Obama’s decision to filibuster was a “symbolic vote” based on objections to Mr. Alito’s rulings as a lower-court judge.

“What the president rejects is that Senate Democrats didn’t focus more on making an effective public case about those substantive objections,” Mr. Earnest said. “Instead, some Democrats engaged in a process of throwing sand in the gears of the confirmation process. And that’s an approach that the president regrets.”

• Kelly Riddell can be reached at kriddell@washingtontimes.com.

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