Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Rep. Smith: “Senate Democrats Put Politics Above the Will of the Voters”

Apr 5, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-9 along party lines to move Judge Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate chamber.

Democrats have threatened to filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation, a process that enables a single senator to stop all action on a bill or a Supreme Court judicial nominee. The filibuster is only constrained by the Senate’s cloture rule, which places time limits on debate and requires a 60-vote threshold to advance legislation or a nominee to the Supreme Court. In light of the potential filibuster of Judge Gorsuch, some senators have argued in favor of the more democratic option, to lower the cloture vote threshold to a simple majority for Supreme Court confirmations – just as the Senate amended its rules in 2013 for nominees other than Supreme Court justices.

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) gave the following statement on the Judge Gorsuch confirmation process:

Rep. Smith: “The Senate filibuster and the 60-vote requirement is a threat to democracy. This arcane rule has evolved from its original intent to protect individual senators’ right to debate to a partisan tactic that has paralyzed the legislative process in the United States Senate.

“The will of the American people is ignored when Senate Democrats shut down votes despite a Supreme Court nominee having the support of the majority of the Senate. Senate Republicans have the responsibility to exercise the democratic option and use their 52 seat majority to confirm Judge Gorsuch.”