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Friday, December 24, 2004

President To Reappoint Most Judicial Nominees Denied Vote

President George W. Bush has decided to reappoint most of his judicial nominees who were denied an up-or-down vote by Democrats engaging in an unconstitutional abuse of the filibuster process.
"The president nominated highly qualified individuals to the federal courts during his first term, but the Senate failed to vote on many nominations," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said in a written statement.

"The Senate has a constitutional obligation to vote up or down on a president's judicial nominees," McClellan added, "and the president looks forward to working with the new Senate to ensure a well-functioning and independent judiciary."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist welcomed the reappointments, and offered a pointed reminder to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter not to engage in or allow a minority of senators to obstruct the will of the majority.
"The president has decided to re-nominate many highly qualified and capable individuals to serve as federal judges," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). "I look forward to working with Sen. Specter, other Judiciary Committee members and my colleagues to ensure quick action and up-and-down votes on these judicial nominees."

Democrats protested the president's decision to carry out his campaign pledge to nominate highly-qualified candidates whose judicial philosophy includes fidelity to the Constitution and a recognition that they are not legislators. This has outraged Democrats, whose major policy victories over the last four decades have come when judges have ignored the Constitution and substituted their policy views for those of the people's elected representatives, or of the people themselves.
"I was extremely disappointed to learn today that the president intends to begin the new Congress by resubmitting extremist judicial nominees," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement.

"The Bush administration is ending the year as they began it, choosing confrontation over compromise, ideology over moderation, and defiance over cooperation," said Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

"On some of their controversial nominees, they may prevail because of their monopoly of power," Leahy added. "The big loser, however, will be the independence of our judicial branch of government."

Nominated to District Court seats will be James Dever III, Eastern District, North Carolina; Thomas Ludington, Eastern District, Michigan; Robert Conrad, Western District, North Carolina; Daniel Ryan, Eastern District, Michigan; Peter Sheridan, New Jersey; Paul Crotty, Southern District, New York; Sean Cox, Eastern District, Michigan; and J. Michael Seabright, Hawaii.

Nominated to Circuit Courts of Appeals will be Terrence Boyle, 4th Circuit; Priscilla Owen, 5th Circuit; David McKeague, 6th Circuit; Susan Neilson, 6th Circuit; Henry Saad, 6th Circuit; Richard Griffin, 6th Circuit; William Pryor; 11th Circuit; William Myers III, 9th Circuit; Janice Brown, District of Columbia Circuit; Brett Kavanaugh, District of Columbia Circuit; William Haynes II, 4th Circuit; and Thomas Griffith, District of Columbia Circuit.

Four Circuit Court nominees will not be reappointed. Miguel Estrada, who was opposed by Democrats for being conservative while Hispanic, withdrew from consideration in disgust and recently lost his wife. Judge Charles Pickering accepted a recess appointment, and recently announced his decision to retire. Also not renominated are Claude Allen, who was opposed by Maryland Senators because he was a Virginian being nominated to a seat traditionally held by Marylanders, and Carolyn Kuhl, a California judge. The reason for the president's failure to renominate Kuhl is unknown.


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