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Last Updated January 5, 2005
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Democrats vs. the Constitution
If you are pro-life ... pro-family ... and a Christian - then you are unfit to be a judge, according to minority liberal Senators.
"This filibuster is nothing less than a formula for tyranny by the minority. The President would have to make appointments that not just win a majority vote, but also pass the litmus test of an obstructionist minority. If it is allowed to stand, the minority will have effectively seized from the president the power to appoint judges. Never mind the Constitution. Never mind the separation of powers. Never mind the recent election — in which the American people agreed that obstruction must end." ~ Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN)
"It is worth recalling that Mr. Bush campaigned throughout 2004 against the Democrats' obstructionism in the Senate, which was most clearly epitomized by the unprecedented filibuster campaign the minority party waged against 10 judicial nominees to the nation's circuit courts of appeal. Indeed, the president's coattails played an indispensable role in ousting Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the leader of the filibuster campaign whose judicial obstructionism played a major role in his electoral defeat. ... During the 108th Congress, in a campaign of unprecedented scope and breadth, Democrat senators successfully voted 20 times to deny cloture on judicial nominees. Invoking cloture would have ended the Democrat filibusters being waged to prevent an up or down vote for the 10 nominees to the appellate courts. ... A review of Senate history illustrates just how unprecedented the Democrats' filibustering campaign against judicial appellate nominees has been. ... From 1949 through 2000, cloture was sought on only 13 judicial nominations, including twice for William Rehnquist, whose nominations as both associate justice and chief justice of the Supreme Court were filibustered. ... During President Bush's first term, however, cloture has been sought on 14 judicial nominations. ... Democrats have successfully filibustered 10 of the 45 circuit court nominations by President Bush that have made it to the Senate floor. That's more than 20 percent. It is a campaign that has been as unprecedented as it has been outrageous." --The Washington Times
Dr. Dobson Targets 6 Senate Democrats - (NewsMax.com) Dobson’s warning to the six is simple and blunt: try to block confirmation of President Bush's nominees to the federal courts and Dobson and millions of Christians will defeat you in 2006. The Times reported that Dobson is sending out a letter to one million of his strongest supporters vowing "a battle of enormous proportions from sea to shining sea" if key Democrats try to block President Bush’s conservative court nominees. Dr. Dobson, a child psychologist and founder of Focus on the Family, is reminding the six Democrat senators of their former colleague Sen. Tom Daschle and his defeat this past November. Daschle played the leading role as the Senate minority leader in blocking ten of President Bush’s judicial nominees. Dobson argues that Daschle’s obstructionism led to his defeat in conservative South Dakota against Republican challenger John Thune who some experts say won the election partly on that issue. "Let his colleagues beware," Dr. Dobson writes in his letter, "especially those representing 'red' states. Many of them will be in the 'bull's-eye' the next time they seek re-election." Who are the dirty six? Dobson’s list includes Senators Ben Nelson, Nebraska; Mark Dayton, Minnesota; former Klansman Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia; Kent Conrad, North Dakota; Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico; and Bill Nelson, Florida. See complete article.
Byrd's nuclear option by Robert Novak (12/20/2004)The unprecedented Democratic plan to filibuster judicial nominations that do not meet liberal specifications has exceeded all expectations. ...A scenario for an unspecified day in 2005: One of President Bush's judicial nominations is brought to the Senate floor. Majority Leader Bill Frist makes a point of order that only a simple majority is needed for confirmation. The point is upheld by the presiding officer, Vice President Dick Cheney. Democratic Leader Harry Reid challenges the ruling. Frist moves to table Reid's motion, ending debate. The motion is tabled, and the Senate proceeds to confirm the judicial nominee -- all in about 10 minutes. This is the so-called "nuclear option" that creates fear and loathing among Democrats and weak knees for some Republicans, including conservative opinion leaders. Ever since Frist publicly embraced the nuclear option, he has been accused of abusing the Senate's cherished tradition of extended debate. In truth, during six years as majority leader, Democrat Robert C. Byrd four times detonated the nuclear option to rewrite Senate rules.
The Federalist Brief 04-50...news of the retirement of Judge Charles Pickering is sad and frustrating, but also very instructive. Judge Pickering was placed on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bush through a recess appointment after Senate Democrats decided to bulldoze tradition by filibustering Pickering's nomination -- but their scandalous tactics have apparently succeeded. In support of those tactics, the Democrats pulled the race card, insinuating that Pickering was an "opponent of civil rights" (code for "not a Leftist"). Forget that Pickering had strong support from the local black community, including from Charles Evers, brother of slain civil-rights hero Medgar Evers. Forget, too, that Pickering testified against the KKK in the 1960s, or that he sent his children to integrated schools, or that he successfully defended a young black man accused of robbing a white girl. This sad event teaches us what Republican polls often miss: that the Left is not interested in the facts so much as what works in a sound bite and appeases their interest groups. Judge Robert Bork calls them the "whatever works party." The whole process has led Judge Pickering to conclude: "The bitter fight over judicial confirmations threatens the quality and the independence of the judiciary." Exactly -- this is what the Left wants: a judiciary dependent on Leftist thinking, not one that would allow the people to do their own. -- On the Hill, the partisan war over filibusters may still go nuclear, figuratively speaking. To put an end to Demo obstructionism of President Bush's judicial nominees before the inevitable Supreme Court nominations start popping up, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist may resort to a little-used Senatorial parliamentary procedure, euphemistically known as a constitutional option, but popularly referred to as the nuclear option. In this strategy, Republicans would seek a ruling from the Senate's presiding officer -- Vice President Dick Cheney -- that would make filibusters of judicial nominees unconstitutional. It would then take a simple majority of 51 votes to uphold the ruling, and 51 votes to confirm a nominee, just as the Constitution originally intended.
The Constitution's Article VI: "The Senators and Representatives..., and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support his Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
Assault on President Bush's Judicial Nominations Continues in the 108th Congress (9/17/2004) A number of President George W. Bush's judicial nominees to the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals were nominated over 3 years ago, in May 2001, and have still not been allowed a vote on the Senate floor because of the filibustering of left-wing Democrat Senators. One of the targets of these obstructionists was Miguel Estrada, a highly qualified Honduran immigrant to America and a Harvard Law School graduate. Unfortunately, he withdrew after 2 years, more than 100 hours of debate, and 7 votes to break the Democrats' filibuster. These same obstructionists have refused votes on 4 nominees to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals because 2 Democrat Senators from Michigan want to name their own appellate court nominees, ! clearly a violation of the U.S. Constitution. During the 108th Congress, there have been 18 votes to break the unconstitutional filibusters by the Democrats, on nominees Miguel Estrada, Priscilla Owen, Charles Pickering, Carolyn Kuhl, Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor, Bill Myers, Henry Saad, Richard Griffin, and David McKeague. These 18 votes in the 108th Congress to break the Democrat filibusters are more "cloture" votes (to end debate on the Senate floor) on judicial nominations than in all of the previous 107 Congresses combined. Unfortunately, liberal Senators are now threatening filibusters on five more of President Bush's judicial nominees: Terry Boyle, Susan Neilson, William Haynes, Brett Kavanaugh, and Tom Griffiths. Only 69% of President Bush's nominees to the appeals courts have received an up or down vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate. This is outrageous and the American people need to address this in the upcoming election. If President Bush is not given a vote on any of these 14 outstanding judicial nominees, he will have the lowest confirmation rate for appeals courts judges for the first 4 years of any modern presidency: a confirmation rate of only 69%. Christian Coalition
Senator Ted Kennedy revising the United States Constitution. In his effort to block the President's appointment of conservative, Christian, pro-life judges to the federal bench. Sen. Kennedy and a few of his colleagues in the Senate have abused their power by stalling the nominations at all costs - filibustering, endlessly debating, refusing to vote on the nominees. So President Bush appointed Judge William Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit during a Senate recess - entirely within the President's constitutional powers. But Sen. Kennedy orchestrated a federal lawsuit to oust Judge Pryor! This legal maneuver, coming from a member of the United States Senate, is wrong, unconstitutional, and unprecedented in our history. He created the problem ... then has the gall to complain about it! If Sen. Kennedy wins the lawsuit, he will have virtual "veto power" over the President's appointments ... dictatorship of constitutional order and over citizens like you living under the law. The commitment of the American Center for Law and Justice is to protect your constitutional freedoms, and that is what we are doing. Edwin Meese, Attorney General under the late President Ronald Reagan, has asked the Eleventh Circuit Court to set right this abuse of power - and we are standing with him. We have already filed a major brief, representing Attorney General Meese and the interests of the ACLJ and its members, arguing that Sen. Kennedy's attack should be rejected by the court. The case will almost certainly move up to the Supreme Court of the United States, and we are already preparing for this. It's a complicated process, with numerous legal approaches that must be researched and planned for. It's time-consuming and costly. At the same time, we are pushing, through a massive petition campaign, for the Senate to change its own internal rules - stop filibustering judicial nominations - and fulfill the letter and the spirit of the law under our U.S. Constitution! --ACLJ
"When the Democrats lost control of the Senate in the 2002 elections they decided that a simple majority vote would no longer be good enough to confirm a judicial appointee. Over the years leftists have depended on judicial activism and fiat to enact much of their agenda. The future of their anti-individualist, big-government designs depend largely on the left’s ability to keep Constitutionally oriented judges off the federal bench. Since they didn’t have a Senate majority, they needed a new rule. To keep constitutionalists off the bench Daschle and Company decided to change the Constitution to require a super-majority for a judicial confirmation. Sixty votes. No less." ..."Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants to the president the authority to appoint federal judges 'with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.' Every legal scholar not employed by Harvard of the Senate Judiciary Committee will tell you that a majority vote in the Senate would constitute 'consent.' The president makes his choice; the nomination goes to the Senate, and the Senate votes. If a majority votes for confirmation, we have a new federal judge. That was then, this is now." --Neal Boortz -- The Federalist Brief 04-21
Senate Blocks Bush Judicial Nominees Senate Democrats successfully blocked three of President George W. Bush's judicial nominees Thursday in a series of separate votes. This brings the number of judges blocked to ten. >> Read Full Story GOPUSA July 23, 2004
The 'Deal' on Judges: A Compromise Full of Consequences 5/19/2004
In a shocking agreement that has some Senate Democrats "gleeful" but that was described by a key Senate Republican staffer as a "terrible agreement that no logical person would make," President Bush has ceded a key part of his judicial appointment power to the Democrats. Under the deal, a floor vote will be allowed on 25 "non-controversial nominees," some of whom actually have the support of liberal Democrats. In turn, the President has agreed to give up his Constitutional power to make recess appointments, which are appointments made while the Senate is out of session. The President has used this power in the past to put conservatives on the federal appeals courts when Senate Democrats refused floor votes on the nominees. Worse, with this agreement, the President has given away his ability to expose the blatant "obstructionism" of Senate Democrats.
The deal effectively means the end for some of the President's best judicial nominees, those for whom FRC working with the White House, has tirelessly fought for in the confirmation process. FRC is profoundly disappointed in this development. So too are several Republican Senate Judiciary Committee members who were not even asked for their approval prior to the White House-Senate Democrat pact.
Click Here to sign a petition to your Senators asking them to support President Bush's Pro-Life Judicial Nominees.
Scalia: 'Politics Has Made Itself Known' in Judicial Nominations Process U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said on Thursday that he believes the judicial nominations process has been too bitterly partisan and that activist judges need to be reigned in to protect the Constitution. >> Read Full Story
More Senate Judiciary Committee Chicanery by David Limbaugh (4/30/2004) [Excerpts] Senator Charles Schumer and his leftist colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee have reached a new low in suggesting that President Bush is being divisive by appointing his political allies to the bench. ...It is liberals, like Schumer, who support liberal judicial activists for the bench because they believe the end justifies the means. Indeed, for years the Left was upfront about its intention to use the courts to further its policy agenda, since it was unable to do so through democratic processes. How else would they have succeeded in federalizing abortion "rights"? And they're trying it again with same-sex marriage, beginning with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. ...The Schumer doctrine appears to be, "we obstructionists will not only usurp the presidential appointment power, we'll disqualify anyone who gets in our way. We'll even blacklist those who helped the president exercise his constitutional prerogative to appoint like-minded judges." It is difficult to overstate the chutzpah of Charles Schumer and his unmerry band of obstructionists in criticizing President Bush and Brett Kavanaugh for their partisanship when these same senators have turned the entire confirmation process into a rank partisan charade. To them the question is not whether a nominee is or has been partisan, but whether he belongs to the acceptable party. I could better handle the liberals' refusal to be fair and honorable on judicial appointments if they would admit they treat the judiciary as the third political branch that they intend to fill with liberal activists. But just as with so many other things, as a cynical diversion they accuse the other side of the very sin they're committing. They have no shame.
April 2004: Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle announced that Democrats will block a vote on all judicial nominations until President Bush gives up his right to use recess appointments, a practice used by every President. Democrats are letting partisan politics get in the way of justice. Currently, many districts around the country have a "judicial emergency" because of so many judicial vacancies.
Group Unveils 'Memogate' Ad By Bobby Eberle Talon News April 1, 2004 - A constitutional advocacy group unveiled its latest ad on Wednesday focusing on the three Democratic senators at the center of the controversy involving Senate Judiciary Committee "strategy" memos. The memos, written by Democratic staffers, outline efforts by liberal special interest groups to influence committee activities. >> Read Full Story
Get a snapshot of five liberals: Kennedy, Daschle, Leahy, Kerry, Clinton, Pelosi
Article VI of the U.S. Constitution declares that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." The Demos obstructing these nominations are thus in violation of their oaths to support the Constitution.
President George Bush (1/19/2004): "Today I was proud to exercise my constitutional authority to appoint Judge Charles W. Pickering to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Pickering has served with distinction as a United States District Judge since he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 1990. He is highly qualified to serve on the Court of Appeals and has widespread bipartisan support from those who know him best. For the past two and a half years, Judge Pickering has been waiting for an up-or-down vote in the Senate. A bipartisan majority of Senators supports his confirmation, and if he were given a vote, he would be confirmed. But a minority of Democratic Senators has been using unprecedented obstructionist tactics to prevent him and other qualified individuals from receiving up-or-down votes. Their tactics are inconsistent with the Senate's constitutional responsibility and are hurting our judicial system. As a result of today’s recess appointment, Judge Pickering will fill a seat on the Fifth Circuit that has been designated a judicial emergency. ... I call on the Senate to stop playing politics with the American judicial system and to give my nominees the up-or-down votes they deserve."
Cloture Votes of President Bush's Pro-Life Judicial Nominees - To see how YOUR Senators Voted – click here.
For most of the past 50 years, liberals have controlled the Senate and placed left-wing judges in the courts, including 367 judges under President Clinton. They've been attacking America's Christian Heritage and removed Christ from Christmas, prayer from schools, defended abortion, defended the forcing of the homosexuality on the majority, etc. Thus the reason for the litmus test the liberals place on nominations. Simply put, no Christian or faith-based judge need apply, because liberals prefer to live in the darkness of sin rather than come to Light, lest they be reproved. (John 3:19-20)
Proof: Senate Dems' Tactics on Bush Nominees Exposed Family Research Council (FRC.og) Washington Update - December 1, 2003
Last month a series of memos showing the coziness between liberal interest groups and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee were "leaked" to the press. However, whenever the mainstream press covers the memos they focus on chastising the Republicans for supposedly leaking the information and they ignore the downright nastiness of the Senate Democrats' strategy. These liberal organizations tell Democrats which judicial nominees to go after and vote down, how many hearings to hold, and ground rules for allowing floor votes. The memos even state that the groups persuaded Democrats to delay nominations in order to affect an affirmative action case in Michigan.
The memos go on to detail how to conduct personal attacks on Bush's judicial nominees, at one point writing "most of Bush's nominees are Nazis." In talking about Miguel Estrada, one memo identifies him as "especially dangerous" because "he is Latino." Another memo admonishes Democrats not to make the mistake they made with Clarence Thomas, in allowing Estrada to get on the Federal Courts at all.
Singling out a nominee because of his race is outrageous. While Senate Democrats may celebrate their victory in forcing Mr. Estrada to withdraw his nomination, their actions have tarnished both the U.S. Senate and the Constitution. The American public should not have to put up with these deplorable actions. Family Research Council (FRC.og) Washington Update - December 1, 2003
The Hypocrisy of Liberal Democrats
The hypocrisy of Democrats from the past to now. Obstruct and Delay by Edwin J. Feulner (11/12) The Constitution gives it the power to “advise and consent” to the president’s judicial nominees. Yet what’s happening in these cases is actually “obstruct and delay,” with a minority refusing to let the full Senate provide its consent.
In October 1999, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D.-S.D.) found it "simply baffling that a senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination." Daschle has now baffled himself 12 times. In June 1998, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, promised to "object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported." He has broken that promise 15 times. Every filibuster in the past 45 years designed solely to defeat a judicial nominee who would otherwise be confirmed by a Senate majority is going on right now. More on the Democrats' filibusters here: http://www.HumanEventsOnline.com/article.php?id=1476
Pro-abortion Senators are engaging in unprecedented tactics to delay and even prevent this very necessary confirmation process. In fact, during President Bush's first two years in office, only 53% of appeals court nominees were confirmed compared to a rate of over 90% during the same period for the last 3 Presidencies. Click here to view more FACTS about the lack of confirmations! And click here to take a look at the latest press releases from NARAL (The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) stating their view and blocking the President's pro-life Judicial Nominees at any cost to preserve Roe vs. Wade.
Not only is Sen. Schumer's proposal foolish, it is unconstitutional. No president could surrender the power of appointment without violating his oath of office to defend the Constitution.
Senate Democrats sailed off into uncharted waters yesterday, as they launched a second filibuster against another of President Bush's judicial nominees. Forty-four Democrats blocked a vote to confirm Justice Priscilla Owen of the Texas Supreme Court to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Justice Owen joins Miguel Estrada in confirmation limbo. This is unprecedented. Never in American history has a minority in the Senate denied an appeals court nominee a confirmation vote. Under the Senate's archaic rules that require 60 votes to end debate, a minority of 41 senators can block any action, even though the Constitution allows only for a simple majority for confirmation. The arrogant minority is threatening more filibusters against as many as three more Bush nominees. With the Senate in a Democrat-induced gridlock, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York has proposed a way out of the mess. All President Bush has to do is give up his constitutional power to appoint federal judges. Sen. Schumer, a chief culprit in the Democrats' filibuster strategy, suggested that each state set up a nominating commission to pick judges. The president would nominate the commissions' selections and the Senate would confirm--and to heck with the Constitution. Article 2, Section 2 explicitly says the president "shall nominate, and, by the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint . . . judges to the Supreme Court and all other officers of the United States." Not only is Sen. Schumer's proposal foolish, it is unconstitutional. No president could surrender the power of appointment without violating his oath of office to defend the Constitution. The way out of this impasse is for the Democrats to cease their obstructionism and allow votes on nominees. FRC Washington Update - May 2, 2003
See the list of Democratic Senators who voted against Miguel Estrada.
Estrada and the future of the judiciary: Alexander Hamilton plainly stated that the president is "bound to submit the propriety of his choice to the discussion and determination of a different and independent body, and that body an entire branch of the legislature." In case the fulsome Mr. Schumer missed that page, Hamilton, in No. 77, said again, just as clearly, that "each nomination" must be submitted to "an entire branch of the legislature." by Nat Hentoff a columnist for The Washington Times.
Senate Demo Leader Tom Daschle obfuscated, "All we have asked is that we be given the information necessary to provide an informed consent. It is our constitutional duty to reserve our judgment until we know the whole picture." In reality, Estrada has appeared to answer questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and moreover he has been available for further meetings with perusable Senators. Georgia Demo Senator Zell Miller continued to chastise his party: "The filibuster against Bush nominee Miguel Estrada is not just an expensive waste of time and taxpayer money, it's also an affront to majority rule, the principle that Democracy operates on everywhere. Everywhere, that is, but the Senate." The filibuster of Estrada's sure confirmation vote is the obstructionist Demo Senators' move to block President Bush's string of court nominees -- some of whom are likely to be more conservative than the Leftjudiciary in their jurisprudence. (The Federalist Brief 03-11)
"I have stated over and over on this floor that I would...object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported.... If we don't like somebody the president nominates, vote him or her up or down. But don't hold him in unconscionable limbo, because in doing that, the minority of senators really shame all senators." --Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, back in 1998
As expected, the Senate failed to cut off debate on the confirmation of Miguel Estrada. Four Democrats broke ranks to vote with all 51 Republicans, but it takes 60 votes to invoke "cloture," a fancy word for ending debate. This means that, for now, Mr. Estrada is denied the simple courtesy of an up-or-down vote on his confirmation to the D.C. Court of Appeals. Democrats Bill Nelson of Florida, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, John Breaux of Louisiana and Zell Miller of Georgia all rose above partisanship and agreed to give Mr. Estrada a vote. Democratic leaders Tom Daschle, Pat Leahy and Harry Reid continue to say they cannot allow a confirmation vote until Mr. Estrada answers all their questions. Yet since the debate on the Estrada nomination began February 5, not a single Democrat -- not one -- has submitted written questions to the nominee, despite repeated requests from the White House, the GOP Senate leadership, and Mr. Estrada himself. This is not just cynical, its dishonest. The Republicans cannot permit such injustice to prevail. Miguel Estrada, a brilliant lawyer and decent man, deserves a vote. It's simple fairness. President Bush issued a strong statement today calling the Senate's vote to continue the filibuster against Mr. Estrada a "disgrace." You can see his full statement by clicking the link below. The President Issues Statement Today Urging Vote on Miguel Estrada : http://www.frc.org/?i=LK03C08&f=WU03C04&t=e
Minority Leader "Tom Thumb" Daschle says that his cadre of Leftists will filibuster Bush nominee Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen and will continue the filibuster against Miguel Estrada. So, what is all this extra-constitutional obfuscation really about? We expect that Chief Justice William Rehnquist will retire in the coming months, and the Left is building the gauntlet they will use to deny President Bush any court appointments of constitutional conservatives. As we noted in the first two years of Mr. Bush's presidency, he made many compromises in order to restore the Senate to Republican control -- the only way he would be able to get conservative appointments to the court -- unless, of course, the Démocrates were willing to go to such extreme measures as to divert nominations from a full Senate vote as specified in the Constitution. And why are Daschle-Pelosi, et al., so adamant about blocking Bush's appointments? Because they know that the real power of government now rests in the activist Leftjudiciary, which has appointed itself arbiter of the "living Constitution" to the detriment of the original intent its authors, our Founders. The Federalist 03-18 Brief - Much more on the un-Constitutional filibuster below....Do you have ears to hear what these ultra-liberals have to gain from this deceptive tactic? - Or - Do you have ears to hear what our sons and daughters will loose?
More words on the Démocrates immoral agenda
Kate Michelman of NARAL Pro-Choice America is at it again, calling the plays in another classic battle between abortion special interests and the GOP. As she tightens her leash on the Democratic presidential candidates, another of President Bush's judicial nominees hangs in the balance--Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen. Once again Ms. Michelman has a choke hold on Senate Democrats, "asking" them to lead the fight against Justice Owen. The truth is Ms. Michelman's puppetry is effective with White House hopefuls Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, and John Edwards for one reason: campaign cash. Sen. Lieberman and company understand that if they snub NARAL, their campaigns can kiss crucial financial support goodbye. Judge Owen is "controversial" only because radical pro-abortionists opposed her ruling in favor of the Texas parental notification law, a law that reduced the number of teen abortions in the Lone Star state. In a showdown on the Senate floor last night, Sen. Robert Bennett, a Republican from Utah, offered 10 hours of debate in return for a vote on Judge Owen. Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada wouldn't hear of it. He declined, and when asked how many hours would do, he replied, "There is not a number in the universe that would be sufficient." April 9, 2003 - Family Research Council Washington Update
Senate Democrats Block More Bush Judges
From: Ken Connor, President - March 21, 2003 - Family Research Council
March 19, 2003, Wednesday night, as the
nation's attention was fixed on the start of the war in Iraq, Michigan's two
Democratic senators slapped holds on four more of President Bush's appeals court
nominees. Even though the Sixth Circuit Court has declared an official
judicial crisis because eight of its 16 seats are vacant, Sens. Carl Levin and
Debbie Stabenow placed holds on four nominees, refusing to let the Senate
confirm them until Mr. Bush re-nominates two Clinton judges. This is
unprecedented. The Senate has never demanded that a new president re-appoint his
predecessor's unconfirmed nominees. When President Bush's father left office,
two Sixth Circuit Court nominees remained unconfirmed. The Republicans did not
demand that Mr. Clinton re-submit those nominations. This latest outrage is yet
another indication that the Democrats intend to deny Mr. Bush his constitutional
authority to appoint judges, especially appeals court judges. Republicans
appear utterly baffled by the Democrats' fierce obstruction tactics and have no
apparent strategy to break out of the impasse.
What are the president's options? First, Mr. Bush should immediately consider recess appointments. The Constitution allows the president to make such appointments when the Senate is in recess. In the face of the Democrats' unrelenting intransigence, Mr. Bush should wield this constitutional power to break the gridlock. Bill Clinton made frequent use of the recess appointment option, following the example of John F. Kennedy, who put fully 20 percent of his judges on the bench through recess appointments. Second, the Democrats' filibuster of Miguel Estrada, and threatened filibuster of other appeals court nominees, is unconstitutional. The Constitution lists five specific instances in which a supermajority of the Senate is required: veto override, constitutional amendments, impeachment, treaty ratification, and expelling a member. Judicial confirmation is not one of these specified instances. The Senate rule requiring 60 votes for confirmation, therefore, is unconstitutional under the "advice and consent" clause. A parliamentary point of order challenging the rule as unconstitutional should be invoked, or a lawsuit could be filed to test the rule's constitutionality. In the absence of such strategies, the Democrats show no signs they are willing to abandon their scorched earth tactics and confirm any of President Bush's appeals court judges.
Excerpts from the rebuttal given by Gary Locke,
Governor of Washington State:
And rebuttals from The Federalist.com
Senate Democrats Can't Get Their Facts Straight By John Nowacki - When it comes to the Miguel Estrada nomination, Senate Democrats just can't seem to get the facts straight. And no wonder - they seem to think that having nothing to use against Estrada means they don't know enough about him. While filibustering this nomination, they've made several allegations that distort the truth or misrepresent Estrada's answers to questions from Senators…Read the allegations and then the facts.
ARE DEMS APPLYING 'RELIGIOUS LITMUS TEST' TO ESTRADA? A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says Democrats are setting up a "religious litmus test" for who can be a federal judge. And a spokesman for Concerned Women for America says they are sinking to a new low in their treatment of judicial nominee Miguel Estrada. The founding fathers wrote into the Constitution that no religious test should be imposed on judicial confirmations," Miranda says. "So when you ask the question, as the Democrats consistently do, about whether or not someone is pro-life, what they're really asking is whether they are religious. Concerned Women has published a chart denoting the apparent double standard being applied by Democrats. The chart compares Estrada's credentials with those of Merrick Garland, another DC Circuit nominee in 1997. The credentials of the two are practically identical. At that time, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont -- a Judiciary Committee member who now questions Estrada's qualifications -- described Garland as "highly qualified" and someone who would make "an outstanding federal judge." Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Landrieu claimed in her campaign for re-election in 2002 that she worked closely with the Hispanic community—and that she had supported the nomination of Estrada to the court. Now she’s waffling against Estrada and may vote against him. More details: http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/2/132003b.asp