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Old 02-22-2003, 07:05 PM   #1
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Bush's Race Pandering

Bush of judicial nominee: 'Give the man a vote'

WASHINGTON (CNN) --Citing a 15 percent vacancy rate in the United States' regional appeals courts, President Bush Saturday urged the Senate to stop blocking votes on his judicial nominees.

"We face a vacancy crisis in the federal courts, made worse by senators who block votes on qualified nominees," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

Bush cited the Senate's recent blocking of his nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Miguel Estrada, whom Bush described as "exceptional" and "impeccable."

Democratic opponents believe Estrada's refusal to answer questions and provide other information during his confirmation hearing blocks their ability to judge his fitness for the judicial seat.

Estrada, 42, was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by Bush in May 2001.

To his supporters, he is an American success story.

"He came to America from Honduras as a teenager, speaking little English," Bush said. "Within a few years, he had graduated [with] high honors from Columbia College and Harvard Law School."

Last week, Democratic opponents launched a filibuster to block a vote on his nomination. Republicans have enough votes to approve Estrada's nomination, but not enough to block the filibusters.

Democrats insist their opposition had nothing to do with Estrada's judicial philosophy and more to do with Estrada's not answering questions during his hearing about his opinion on several key court cases of the past.

"If this Senate decides that we cannot ask a nominee to the federal court a question as basic as his views on our Constitution, then we have been transformed into a rubber stamp," Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said last week.

Bush noted that Estrada's nomination would make him the first person of Latin American descent to serve on the D.C. appeals court.

"He would break through a barrier that has stood for too long," the president said. "Democrats are stalling Miguel Estrada's nomination while they search in vain for a reason to reject him.

"Let each senator vote as he or she thinks best, but give the man a vote."

But the Congressional Hispanic Caucus slammed Bush's plug for a Latin American first.

"Where was the outrage that we have heard from some senators over the stalling of Enrique Moreno, Jorge Rangel, Christine Arguello and Richard Paez?" said the caucus chair, Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez, D-Texas. "These are but a few of the Clinton Latino judicial nominees who languished for years."


Rodriguez said the Senate has a Constitutional right to hear the facts of Estrada's views.

"Republicans must realize that there are other highly qualified Hispanics who are not ashamed to discuss their views and are proud of their past legal stances that could fill this seat," he said. "Or, perhaps they don't realize this because they refuse to earnestly invest in the Hispanic community, and are happy with a mute nominee."

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Yes...where were the complaints when the GOP Congress stalled every Clinton judge nomination? They did it on purpose, hoping they'd get a GOP President after Clinton, so they could stack the courts with Republican judges. Yet another reason not to trust the Republican Party.

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Old 02-22-2003, 10:19 PM   #2
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I don't care for this nominee. I don't want to accuse anyone of racism but I don't think being a Hispanic per se makes him qualified. GB is playing a crazy PC game if he thinks it does.
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Old 02-23-2003, 02:29 AM   #3
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Bush strategically (or strategerizingly as he would probably put it) panders to hispanics, who, after all, are now the leading minority at 13% of the population
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Old 02-23-2003, 09:34 AM   #4
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The complaints about the Republicans were there during the Clinton administration. Republican "pandering" to minorities may seem ackward because they have not mastered it like the Democrats.
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Old 02-23-2003, 10:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The complaints about the Republicans were there during the Clinton administration. Republican "pandering" to minorities may seem ackward because they have not mastered it like the Democrats.

what the attorney said

Is Melon is trying to bait us?

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Old 02-23-2003, 10:23 AM   #6
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"If this Senate decides that we cannot ask a nominee to the federal court a question as basic as his views on our Constitution, then we have been transformed into a rubber stamp,"

This is my problem with Estrada. If he refuses to answer Senate questions, then why should he get approval? The fact that Bush is playing the race card as to why he should be approved is ridiculous.

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Old 02-23-2003, 05:50 PM   #7
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Two issues regarding nominees: (1) the Senate committee isn't trying to learn new information by asking questions - they are simply looking for a good sound bite, and (2) judicial nominees frequently refuse to answer questions, especially if they deal with specific issues which may be considered by the Court in the future. Both parties play the committee hearing game.

Estrada has a significant track record to answer the Senate's questions.
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Old 02-23-2003, 06:43 PM   #8
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This article paints a slightly different picture on the situation, with some Democrats admitting it is purely politics.

Oh, it also clarifies that they are asking him to release internal memos from when he was Solicitor General. It is clear that this is something that should not be allowed since, the living solicitor generals have all agreed it would hurt the office.

Estrada backers cite ABA guidelines
By James G. Lakely
THE WASHINGTON TIMES


Supporters of appeals court nominee Miguel Estrada say Democratic demands on him would break the American Bar Association's Code of Judicial Conduct.
Senate Democrats have staged a de facto filibuster against Mr. Estrada's nomination to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
[B]While some Democrats, such as Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, make no secret that their opposition is ideological he has called Mr. Estrada an "extreme" conservative others insist Mr. Estrada must answer their questions about his thoughts on law.[B]
At a press conference yesterday sponsored by Hispanic and Republican activists, Michael Thielen, executive director of the Republican National Lawyers Association, presented a section of the ABA's rules on judicial conduct that states: "A candidate for judicial office shall not make pledges or promises of conduct in office other than the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of the office [or] make statements that commit or appear to commit the candidate with respect to cases, controversies or issues that are likely to come before the court."
Mr. Thielen said Democrats who have long considered the blessing of the ABA "the gold standard" for nominees can't now insist Mr. Estrada break its covenants.
"It is inappropriate for the Democrat senators to block Mr. Estrada's nomination on this basis," he said. "Mr. Estrada has provided ample information to the Senate for it to make a decision. Senate Democrats should permit an up-or-down vote on the nomination without further delay."
[B]Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, has insisted that Mr. Estrada release internal memos he wrote while serving as an assistant solicitor general in the prior Bush and Clinton administrations.[B]
[B]Every living former solicitor general has signed a letter opposing such a request, saying it would hurt the office by discouraging the kind of candor from staff needed by solicitors general.[B]
C. Boyden Gray, president of the Committee for Justice, a nonprofit group devoted to defending and promoting President Bush's judicial nominees, said yesterday that despite Democratic claims to the contrary, Mr. Estrada has indeed left a lengthy paper trail from his 15 arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.
"It is apparent that the Democrats have not read this," Mr. Gray said, pointing to a stack of papers. "They are evidently not interested. I think it's good reading, but I'm a lawyer."
Mr. Gray said asking for internal memos is like asking to see the first draft of a judge's decision.
"The final product is what counts," he said.
[B]Leaders of some of the 70 organizations that support Mr. Estrada's nomination including some of the largest Hispanic advocacy groups also spoke yesterday.[B]
Robert de Posada of the Latino Coalition said his group is concerned that Hispanics make up just 4 percent of the federal judiciary. Of the pool of Hispanic candidates, he said, the Honduran-born Mr. Estrada "is at the top of the top."
"If he doesn't make it, who can come behind him?" Mr. de Posada asked.
Brigida Benitez, president of the D.C. Hispanic Bar Association, was asked about the charges made by Rep. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, that Mr. Estrada doesn't understand the issues important to the Hispanic community.
"The assumption is that there is a way a Hispanic must think," Mrs. Benitez said. "To suggest all Hispanics have to think the same way on an issue is something I have to dispute."
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Old 02-28-2003, 08:28 PM   #9
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I can't believe this is still dragging on. The Democrats are really ticking me off
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Old 03-01-2003, 01:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave
I can't believe this is still dragging on. The Democrats are really ticking me off
Well, why should the Democrats approve someone who they dislike? The GOP surely didn't care about 70+ vacancies that they left during the Clinton era, so why should the Democrats care about being "nice"?

It's politics, baby!

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Old 03-01-2003, 01:43 AM   #11
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Is the Washington Times still owned by Rev. Moon's group of loonies? Or has it been sold to new owners since I was last paying attention?



Oh, and yeah, Republicans; payback's a bitch, ain't it!
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