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The W - Current Events & Politics - Estrada Withdraws
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Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1329 days
Last activity: 1126 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
A travesty indeed....
* * * * * * * * *

Facing political resistance, Estrada withdraws as judicial nominee
Bush slams 'disgraceful treatment'

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After spending more than two years in limbo amid partisan wrangling over President Bush's judicial nominations, Miguel Estrada withdrew his name Wednesday from consideration for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Estrada, 42, a Honduran immigrant, would have been the first Hispanic to sit on that court, which sometimes serves as a stepping stone to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated by Bush in May 2001, but Senate Democrats used a filibuster to block his approval.

"I believe that the time has come to return my full attention to the practice of law and to regain the ability to make long-term plans for my family," Estrada said in a letter to Bush.

"I remain indebted to you for offering me the opportunity to serve my adopted country, which has been so welcoming and generous to me and my family, and I profoundly hope that, at some time in the future, I may be called again to serve my country in some capacity."

He did not mention the opposition to his nomination. But Bush, in accepting Estrada's letter, slammed Senate Democrats for what he described as their "disgraceful treatment" of Estrada, saying the nomination deserved an up-or-down vote.

"The treatment of this fine man is an unfortunate chapter in the Senate's history," Bush said in a written statement.

Estrada, a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and an assistant solicitor general during the Clinton administration, is a partner in a Washington law firm. He emigrated to the United States as a teenager.

One of the Republican senators who had pushed Estrada's nomination, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, called his decision to withdraw a "tragedy."

"All of us knew that we needed to get him confirmed soon or he will probably be forced to withdraw," Sessions said. "This is the first success that Tom Daschle and the filibustering Democrats have had, because he was the first nominee to be filibustered and now he will be the first one to be defeated by filibuster. "

Estrada's supporters charged that the Democrats were unfairly blocking a well-qualified candidate because of his conservative views. The nomination had enough support to pass the Senate, which requires only a simple majority, but Republicans, despite repeated tries, could not muster the 60 votes needed to block the filibuster by Democrats.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, accused Senate Democrats of "character assassination" and said their filibuster of the Estrada nomination amounted to a "political hate crime."

Kennedy praises 'victory


But Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, said the withdrawal was a "a victory for the Constitution.

"It reflects a clear recognition by Miguel Estrada, and hopefully this White House, that under the Constitution the Senate has shared power over judicial appointments," Kennedy said.

Bush had called the Democrats' action a "disgrace" and vowed to fight until Estrada won approval.

Estrada's Democratic critics said he had not answered questions about several key court cases, including cases involving abortion and affirmative action. They also objected to a decision by the White House not to provide access to documents Estrada prepared when he was assistant solicitor general.

The dispute over Estrada is part of a larger and increasingly bitter struggle over Bush's judicial nominations in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Democrats are under pressure from interest groups in their party's base to hold the line against Bush's conservative nominees. When they controlled the Senate earlier in Bush's term, Senate Democrats could block nominations in committee. But once Republicans took control after the 2002 elections, Democrats had to resort to the filibuster, a parliamentary maneuver, to thwart Bush's nominations.

Republicans charged that tactic was an abuse of the Senate's "advice and consent" constitutional power on judicial nominations by, in effect, changing the requirement for approval to 60 votes rather than a simple majority.

--CNN White House Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this report.





"If this cruel, loudmouth extremist is the cream of the Democratic crop, next November's going to make the 1984 election look like a squeaker."
--House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on Howard Dean
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Michrome
Head cheese








Since: 2.1.03

Since last post: 3892 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
This is really pathetic, the RNC ought to start running ads on this. Sure, I'm not pro-life, but it doesn't mean anyone that is should be automatically disqualified from serving on a federal court.
rockstar
Salami








Since: 2.1.02
From: East TN

Since last post: 3628 days
Last activity: 3506 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.22

It seems, well, unseemly for Congressional Democrats to have blocked the nomination vote of Miguel Estrada until he withdrew from the nomination. I'd heard about this a lot listening to Laura Ingraham last year (late shift, gas station radio) but she never really said anything relevant, so I used the power of Google to learn more.

Independent Judiciary doesn't like him, but Judicial Selection does. I'm guessing that Independent Judiciary is a Liberal organization because they are concerned about "Division among Hispanic Groups over Estrada Nomination." I'm guessing that Judicial Selection is a Conservative organization because they used the phrase "one that yielded a 'liberal' result" when talking about the RICO case.

Independent Judiciary says he hasn't written enough briefs and he may not be able to take his idealism out of his rulings. Judicial Selection's references seem a bit too glowing (it almost reads like a really bad 10th grade English essay) but he did help the NOW slap some pro-lifers with a RICO charge.

So what's the answer? Dahlia Lithwick writes about the issue pretty well here. Her point is that it's all a bunch of political crap, which I agree with. Detractors in the date can't see past skin color and supporters can't see past ideology. Something to that effect. Yeah, it sucks that the Dems filibustered a vote, but that's what filibustering is for.

On a side note, it will look good for the Democrats if they let the next nominee for the DC Court in with little impediment, so Bush should pick another Arch-Conservative Minority. Either the Democrats look good and let in another version of what they blocked before or look even worse by holding down another Minority.



Michrome
Head cheese








Since: 2.1.03

Since last post: 3892 days
Last activity: 2959 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
This really should be taken to the supreme court. The constitution clearly calls for a simple majority for approving judges, not a super-majority, which is forced by a filibuster. The filibuster is a senate rule that is not in the constitution, and I think that it would be sturck down as unconstitutional when it comes to judge confirmations. Either way, this is the republicans fault for pussying out. By the way, the organization that Democrats as recently as 2 years ago referred to as the "gold standard" gave Estrada the highest rating possible.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1329 days
Last activity: 1126 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
You don't want to see the filibuster declared unconstitutional. That leads to all sorts of potential problems. But it makes no sense for Democrats to shoot themelves in the foot on this repeatedly either. The real reason that Estrada wasn't confirmed is that it was a short step for Bush to appoint the first Hispanic to the court. And god knows the Democrats don't want that.



"If this cruel, loudmouth extremist is the cream of the Democratic crop, next November's going to make the 1984 election look like a squeaker."
--House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on Howard Dean
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 2 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
You know, it's telling that Bush is looking at a guy who's not even a judge yet for "the first Hispanic Supreme Court nomination," which seems to be the GOP ration d'etre for why the Dems don't like this guy. Jr. can't find one Hispanic guy that's already a judge that he would want to appoint? It's THIS Hispanic guy the Dems don't want in the Supreme Court. The GOP using the guy's race to give him some protection from his extremist ideology (the rational being that the Dems wouldn't dare oppose a Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court - where unfortunately they're probably right) - is pretty dispicable.

I wonder what race-baiting excuse the GOP will come up with for why the Dems are fillibustering Owen or Pickering or that other guy.



"I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about 'man on dog' with a United States Senator. It's sort of freaking me out."


Associated Press interview with Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), 04-07-2003.
OlFuzzyBastard
Knackwurst








Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#7 Posted on
Oh my, Grimis plays the race card. It's like rain on your wedding day, isn't it?



Michrome
Head cheese








Since: 2.1.03

Since last post: 3892 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
What extremist ideology can you point to? The constitution is being thrashed here, as Democrats are destroying the foundation of a simple majority needed for judge approval. There are a couple possible reasons for this:

1) The democrats will not allow anyone who's pro-life to be a federal judge, and this is now the ideological litmus test.

2) Democrats want to be the first ones to nominate a hispanic to the supreme court. I don't think this is likely, but seeing how the black congressional caucus treats Clarence Thomas as if he's worse than Osama Bin Laden, I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility.

3) With no power in the house, senate, or presidency, Democrats see the bench as their final hope to legislate from, despite the fact that judges were never intended to be made lawmakers. In addition, this is also a message to Bush about the fight that is coming over a future supreme court vacancy.

All of this stems from the courts becoming the most powerful legislative body in the country, something that was never intended. The courts have taken it upon themselves to regulate not only public policy, but private lives and the private sector. The real solution to this is some kind of new amendment to the constitution limiting the power of the courts, because things have become ridiculous.
rockstar
Salami








Since: 2.1.02
From: East TN

Since last post: 3628 days
Last activity: 3506 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.22

Yes, the Democrats want to be the first to put a Hispanic and any other minority on the big bench. It's good publicity, especially since they want the minority vote just as much as the Republicans do. But race is a manufactured issue here; if Estrada were a Mystery Candidate about whom nothing was known, this whole debate would boil down to his Arch-Conservatism and the pro-life sticker.

And of course the Democrats don't want pro-life judges; they're by and large a pro-choice party. It's one of the biggest issues of our time and Estrada's ideology is opposite theirs. Especially with the expectation that he'd get a push to the Supreme Court after his DC Court run; that's where the abortion issue will be decided any time between now and when (if) an amendment on the issue is passed. It's not rocket science, but it is a hot topic.

The Democrats do have a couple of good points; first, he's not written much. The general consensus is that while that may have little to nothing to do with his ability and knowledge of the law, more is expected from a nominee for a prestigious seat. Second is the refusal of the Justice Department to release Solicitor General memoranda relating to Estrada. There's a lot of rhetoric in that transcript, but Reid cites three other important nominees that the DoJ released Solicitor General papers on.

Maybe we should look into abolishing filibustering if it creates a situation where no legislation ever gets passed, but until then it's just another tool of "democracy." Don't worry, the cycle of life will turn the tables and the GOP will get the opportunity to stick it to the Dems over a nomination someday.



socalgail
Weisswurst








Since: 4.8.03
From: San Diego

Since last post: 4120 days
Last activity: 3964 days
#10 Posted on
Yes, let's pack the courts with Fascists so we can appoint more Republican presidents. This one is doing such a great job!



socalgail
CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
    Originally posted by socalgail
    Yes, let's pack the courts with Fascists so we can appoint more Republican presidents. This one is doing such a great job!
Oh, look, socalgail's back.



CRZ
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 2 hours
AIM:  
#12 Posted on
Just a reminder to everyone that filibustering to keep judges you don't like from getting into the Federal courts is not a new nor solely a Democratic practice, as this article from during the Ashcroft confirmation hearing points out, bringing up the saga of Ronnie White, who Ashcroft basically killed because White overturned a death penalty conviction and because White was pro-choice. (edition.cnn.com)

I admit to not having much of an idea of what needs to be done, but I really wonder if this is a particularly smart process nowadays considering how totally polarized the two major parties are on social issues which the courts have such sway over. It seems like this sort of thing should only become more and more common, as the judiciary becomes nothing but a parade of party sycophants appealing to the extreme fringes of each side of the spectrum. And before you think that's a good thing (I'm thinking of those in power and their supporters right now) in a couple of years things could shift and suddenly the courts are legalizing everything and your mother because a couple Senate seats shift and two states tip 10000 votes either way in the Presidential election. Those who make poor use of power tend to suffer for it in the end...just ask Tom Foley.



Coming to Chicago Nov. 12...I am SO there! - Brenda Weiler

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calvinh0560
Boudin rouge








Since: 3.1.02
From: People's Republic of Massachusetts

Since last post: 620 days
Last activity: 1 hour
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by spf2119
    Just a reminder to everyone that filibustering to keep judges you don't like from getting into the Federal courts is not a new nor solely a Democratic practice,


Its funny how your said that but the only mention of filibustering in the whole article is how everyones favorite Senator Ted Kennedy wanting to filibuster Ashcroft's designation. There are other ways to block Judges but filibustering them is a new thing.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1329 days
Last activity: 1126 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Let's not forget this gem:

There were even rumors that some on the Republican side were prepared to filibuster the nomination. I cannot recall a judicial nomination being filibustered, ever. I do recall last year when the Republican Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and I noted how improper it would be to filibuster a judicial nomination. During the long-delayed debate on the confirmation of Margaret Morrow, Senator Hatch said: I think it is a travesty if we ever start getting into a game of filibustering judges.
- Sen. Patrick Leahy(D-VT) July 22, 1999

    Originally posted by OlFuzzyBastard
    Oh my, Grimis plays the race card. It's like rain on your wedding day, isn't it?

Is it really the race card if it's the real reason, no matter what the Demcorats say. Their only problems regardless of their pontificating is that he's 1) Pro-Life and 2) Hispanic. And let's face it, 1) neither one has disqualifies him from being a judge, 2) He has the blessing of the left-wing ABA and 3) thee are liberal judges with far less qualifications that got passed with nary a whimper.

Besides, Democrats will be whining loudly when it happens to them next time around.

(edited by Grimis on 7.9.03 2142)

"If this cruel, loudmouth extremist is the cream of the Democratic crop, next November's going to make the 1984 election look like a squeaker."
--House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on Howard Dean
Michrome
Head cheese








Since: 2.1.03

Since last post: 3892 days
Last activity: 2959 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
If this continues, no judges on either side are ever going to get confirmed, and we will be looking at a real judiciary crisis. If this happens, the solution will be to declare the filobuster unconstitutional.
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 2 days
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
Is it really the race card if it's the real reason, no matter what the Demcorats say. Their only problems regardless of their pontificating is that he's 1) Pro-Life and 2) Hispanic. And let's face it, 1) neither one has disqualifies him from being a judge, 2) He has the blessing of the left-wing ABA and 3) thee are liberal judges with far less qualifications that got passed with nary a whimper.

Besides, Democrats will be whining loudly when it happens to them next time around.


If it were just Estrada, I'd buy the race thing. But it's him and three others. Notice the GOP is only mentioning ONE candidate's race.

Look, it's politics, and each party generally looks for whatever edge they can get in public opinion on whatever issue. However each party thinks it can use the Hispanic angle to optain said public opinion is going to happen. But it's the hight of hypocracy for the GOP to always act like they're the ones who don't pay attention or pander to such things, when it's the FIRST card they play in this whole thing.



"I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about 'man on dog' with a United States Senator. It's sort of freaking me out."


Associated Press interview with Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), 04-07-2003.
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Talk about a circus... (msnbc.com) So Martha can't protest at the front gate of Augusta, but neither can the Reverend Jesse Jackson, the KKK, or (my personal favorite) the People Against Ridiculous Protests.
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