Cliff Owen, Associated Press
Sen. Orrin Hatch

Sen. Orrin Hatch's "My View" is disingenuous ("Why I voted 'present' instead of 'no,' " March 26). He repeatedly insisted that President George W. Bush's judicial nominees receive "up-or-down vote[s], as the Constitution requires." His claim of consistency is belied by actions to deny President Barack Obama's judicial nominees such a vote. Sen. Hatch admits that because cloture to end a filibuster "requires a super majority of 60 …, 'present' and 'no' have the same procedural effect," but failing to vote also has the same effect.

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In 2012, his failure to vote was almost decisive, when a judge supported by Arizona Republican senators received the minimum 60 votes to end a filibuster. In 2011, his "present" supported an unprecedented attempt to filibuster a trial judge, while 11 principled Republicans voted for cloture and "no" on the merits. Sen. Hatch writes: "Three times, I have voted 'present' on a motion to end debate on a particularly controversial nominee. … I have not cast such a vote on a failed judicial nominee in more than a year." But his March 2013 "not voting" helped deny Caitlin Halligan an up-or-down vote, and his July 2012, "present" supported an unprecedented filibuster of a consensus judge who was confirmed unanimously in February 2013.

Glenn Sugameli

Washington, D.C.