Sen. Orrin Hatch likes to say he doesn't usually vote against cloture on nominees and never on judicial nominees — that is, that he doesn't support the filibuster of nominees by preventing an up-or-down confirmation vote in the full Senate.
He recently voted to continue the filibuster of President Obama's nominee for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, and he routinely does so to block the president's judicial nominees. However, instead of voting "no" on cloture votes (votes on whether or not to end debate and let a nominee or bill proceed to a majority vote), he is frequently the lone senator voting "present." His dishonesty lies in the fact that with cloture votes, 60 "yes" votes are required to proceed — so voting "present," or really anything but "yes," is the same exact thing as voting "no."
I hope that as his constituents become increasingly educated about this charade, more and more of them will be calling him out and letting him know that they are noticing and he's not fooling them. It's time for Hatch to be upfront about his filibustering of the president's nominees, instead of hiding behind the gimmick of voting "present."
Salt Lake City
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