In a dig at so-called birthers, Leahy also suggested Republicans would demand to see Moses's birth certificate. 

"If somebody like this man has to go through and overcome a filibuster to be confirmed, what are we talking about?" asked Leahy. 

"At this point Moses, the lawmaker, would have a hard time getting confirmed," said Leahy. "Of course I am sure there would be some on the other side who demand to see Moses the lawgiver's birth certificate to make sure he wasn't born in Kenya."

The Senate is poised to vote on at 5:30 p.m. Monday evening on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Judge Adalberto Jordan to be a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Jordan has bipartisan backing, but Democratic leadership was forced to hold the cloture vote because at least one senator attempted to block his confirmation.

Leahy complained Monday afternoon that this is the eighth time Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info Poll: 47 percent back limits on Senate filibuster MORE (D-Nev.) has been forced to file cloture on a non-controversial nominee. 

A small cadre of conservative Republicans, including freshman Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill Antitrust enforcers in turf war over Big Tech Exclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan MORE (R-Utah), has pledged to block nominees in retribution for President Obama's recess appointments, which they say were illegal.

Ranking member of the Judiciary Committee Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyWe've lost sight of the real scandal Grassley: Kavanaugh classmate didn't contact Senate panel State Dept sent explosive-detection dogs to Jordan despite evidence of mistreatment: report MORE (R-Iowa) explained on Monday night that some Republicans believe Obama poisoned the confirmation process with those recess appointments. 

"Generally I am willing to give the president's nominees the benefit of the doubt but as I have indicated we are not operating under normal circumstances," he said. "The atmosphere has made it difficult to give his nominees the benefit if the doubt."