Saturday, November 22, 2003


In the WaPo:

In the recent marathon debate on judicial nominations, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch earnestly expressed the view that the Democrats' filibuster against several of President Bush's nominations was unprecedented and even unconstitutional. This led me to dig up some old Congressional Records from April 1980, when Senate Republicans mounted a filibuster against President Carter's nominee for general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board -- a man who had served as a career attorney at the board for 27 years.

The senator leading the filibuster said it was his "unfortunate duty to challenge the nomination" because, although he "personally liked" the nominee, he was "too pro-labor" and other qualified nominees would be "acceptable to business." After five days of floor debate, the filibuster was broken on the second cloture vote, and the nominee was confirmed for a four-year term.

The reason I remember this episode so well is that the nominee was William A. Lubbers, my father, and the senator leading the filibuster was Orrin G. Hatch.