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VOL. 5, NO. 3 Mar. 17, 2003

"Terminal Silliness:" The Latest Numbers in the War over
Federal Judicial Nominations
By Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman, Eagle Forum's Court Watch

The Democrats' "filibuster" of Miguel Estrada's nomination to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia continues in the U. S. Senate. These Senate gyrations bring to mind one of USSC Justice Antonin Scalia's phrases, "terminal silliness." But action to fill other federal court vacancies continues, as does Democrat obstructionism. The latest statistics compiled by the Judicial Selection Monitoring Project show the following:

Current Vacancies

Vacancies = 54 
Nominations before the Senate = 38 
Judicial emergencies = 26 
Nominations to emergency vacant positions = 18 

Bush Nominees, May 9, 2001-March 17, 2003

Judicial nominations confirmed = 110 District court confirmations = 92 
Court of Appeals confirmations = 18 
Judicial nominations rejected = 2 (Priscilla Owen and Charles Pickering, Sr., both named to the Fifth Circuit, were rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2002; both have been renominated by Bush in this year) 
Clinton confirmations during just his second year in office = 101


Most Contested Nominations in 2003 
(All of the following were included in President Bush's first group
of judicial nominees on May 9, 2001)

Deborah Cook and Jeffrey Sutton to the Sixth Circuit: so far denied floor debate and a vote 
John Roberts to the D. C. Circuit: so far denied floor debate and a vote 
Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit: on March 13 subjected to her second Judiciary Committee hearing, but without a vote; no Democrat Senators or staff were even present for the afternoon session of her hearing; 
Miguel Estrada to the D. C. Circuit: now being subjected to a "filibuster" by Senate Democrats; a third vote to impose cloture and take a floor vote is scheduled for tomorrow. So far, four Dems have voted for cloture (nine are needed): Miller (GA), Breaux (LA), Nelson (NE) and Nelson (FL).

YOU Can Help!!!

Regardless of where you live, phone the following Senators and urge them to support cloture, which requires 60 votes (all phone numbers have the "202" prefix): Bayh (IN) 224-5623; Graham (FL) 224-3041; Pryor (AK) 224-2353; Lincoln (AR) 224-4843; Hollings (SC) 224-6121; Byrd (WV) 224-3954; Landrieu (LA) 224-5824; Bingaman (NM) 224-5521

Gain important additional insight into the unprecedented use of the filibuster for appellate court nominees by reading Phyllis Schlafly's column, "Bring On A Real Filibuster," and Democrat Senator Zell Miller's article, "41 is Greater Than 59."


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