McConnell’s History Lesson

At a press availability a few minutes ago, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) provided some history about the judicial filibuster:

Let me just remind everyone that in the latter part of the Clinton years there were two Democratic nominees for the 9th Circuit, in which California is located, that many Republicans considered, quote, outside the mainstream, Berzon and Paez.

There were 20 or 25 Republicans who wanted to defeat Berzon and Paez with a filibuster. Then Majority Leader Trent Lott teamed up with Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, cloture was filed, and many of us voted to invoke cloture on Berzon and Paez, even though we thought they were clearly outside the mainstream….

Among the group of senators who wanted to filibuster Paez was current Majority Leader Bill Frist. Sen. Frist voted against closure, even though Paez’s nomination had been pending for four years.

Of course, his own conduct hasn’t stopped Frist from repeatedly demagoguing against the judicial filibuster.