Violating the Oath – Voting For Cloture

Mary Catherine “radicallyright” Sibley

From the diaries by Erick

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same …

In voting for cloture (see roll call vote here) on the nomination of Jack McConnell on Wednesday, 11 Republican Senators violated the oath they took to defend the constitution. It’s that simple.

Senators Alexander, Brown of Massachusetts, Chambliss, Collins, Graham, Isakson, Kirk, McCain, Murkowski, Snowe and Thune provided Democrats with the necessary votes to overcome a filibuster of McConnell to be a district court judge in Rhode Island.

How bad is Jack McConnell? One only needs to look to the scathing Dear Colleague letter circulated by Senator Cornyn prior to the Senate conducting a cloture vote. After pointing out that McConnell had been dishonest in his testimony to the Judiciary Committee, Senator Cornyn stated in part:

[Mr. McConnell’s] 25-year legal career is surrounded by ethical cloud. As a crusading plaintiff’s lawyer, “Mr. McConnell and his firm helped pioneer the practice of soliciting public officials to bring lawsuits in which the private lawyers are paid a percentage of any judgment or settlement.” Specifically, Mr. McConnell has helped initiate and direct the litigation of mass tort suits brought by state attorneys general against tobacco and lead -based paint manufacturers. I have long argued that these types of outsourced contingent-fee arrangements are inherently unethical and inevitably lead to the appearance of public corruption. In Texas, for instance, my predecessor as Attorney General served over three years in federal prison for his role in manipulating documents related to a contingent-fee contract and attempting to channel settlement funds to a close friend. While in the private sector contingency fee agreements, though not without controversy, can provide a poor person a key to the courthouse they could not otherwise afford, they have special problems in the public sector. In the public sectors it would be analogous to outsourcing traffic tickets to a private security firm paid by a percentage of the income – no checks, no balances, no exercise of prosecutorial discretion, just a pure profit motive.

He’s that bad…

The article continues at

Update: At Legal Insurrection, Key Republicans Clear Obama to Pack the District Courts

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