From the Senate floor today:
And I want to say something to my constituents and the people who may be listening who have contacted my office in very sincere concern for what they have seen played out here on the Senate floor and in the judicial confirmation process. I want to say to all of them, I appreciate your passion. I appreciate your concern. I appreciate your interest in the instruments of the government that ultimately the people of this country control. And we are going to need the involvement, the attention, the passion of all of the people.
And indeed, we are going to need to appeal to our better angels on the floor of the United States Senate and in the Senate Judiciary Committee when it comes to the next nominees for the United States Supreme Court. We all remember, whether it’s a confirmation process by which Judge Bork was blocked, by which Clarence Thomas was ultimately confirmed after going through a process that no one should have to go through, my hope is that we will have learned that that is not the way the Senate should conduct itself and that we will resolve among ourselves and resolve among the American people and to the people we represent that we will treat the President’s judicial nominees fairly, that we will treat them with dignity and that we will provide the up-or-down vote that the United States Constitution demands when it comes to the confirmation of the President’s judicial nominees.
I’m not suggesting for a minute that anyone violate their conscience. Indeed, any Senator with a sincere belief that an individual judge should not be confirmed should come to the floor, as no doubt they will, and explain to their colleagues why they feel so strongly, why they conscientiously object to this nominee and to vote their conscience. I think every Senator should do that, and I trust they will.
But no one, no Senator has a right, no group of Senators has a right, no minority has a right to tyrannize the majority of the United States Senate when we stand ready in a bipartisan fashion to cast a vote up or down for a judicial nominee. And I sincerely hope that we will not have only learned from the mistakes of the past when it comes to obstruction of the President’s judicial nominees, but we will conduct ourselves with the kind of dignity that the American people have come to expert from United States Senators and that we will conduct ourselves uprightly, with fairness and dignity and treat all we come in contact with exactly the same way.
Translation: They heard you. This is just one battle in a larger fight, and some good things came of it. And it’s just warm up for much uglier battles to come.