September 04, 2003

Estrada Withdraws Judicial Nomination

Yes, despite the big lie that Raplh Nada still
perpetuates, there is a profound difference between
Democrats and Republicans. It is *not* deep or
distinct enough, BUT it is still a profound
difference. There is no more vital or more desperate
evidence of it that the brave resistance to the
_resident's Judicial nominees mounted by the Senate
Democrats and Sen. Jeffords. Sen. Frist, the
Reich-wing Senate "Majority" leader is correct, the
tale of Estrada is one of "rank, unbridled Democratic
partisanship," BUT he is incorrect about the result,
because America is a much better place today because
of the political destruction of the Estrada
nomination...How long can the Senate blockade hold?
Hopefully until the timeline can be restored in
2004...


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-090403estrada_lat,1,5688179.story?coll=la-home-headlines


Estrada Withdraws Judicial Nomination

By Nick Anderson and James Gerstenzang
Times Staff Writers

10:09 AM PDT, September 4, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Miguel Estrada, for two years at the
center of a partisan
divide over judicial nominations, said today he has
asked President
Bush
to withdraw
his nomination to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
Washington in
the
face of unshakeable Democratic opposition.

"After considerable reflection and deliberation ... I
write to ask you
to withdraw my pending nomination," Estrada wrote in a
letter to the
president. "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."

Bush formally withdrew the nomination this morning
after receiving
Estrada's letter.

"Mr. Estrada received disgraceful treatment at the
hands of 45 United
States senators during the more than two years his
nomination was
pending," Bush said,
referring to the Democrats who supported the
filibuster.

In an angry statement released by the White House, the
president said:
"The treatment of this fine man is an important
chapter in the Senate's
history."

Under Senate rules, it requires 60 votes, or
three-fifths of the
100-member chamber, to break a filibuster and force a
final vote on
pending matters - including
nominations and most legislation. That means 41
senators can sustain a
filibuster. Once a final vote is scheduled, though,
only a simple
majority is required for
approval. Estrada, by all accounts, had majority
support but not a
supermajority.

The battle over Estrada's nomination came to represent
the increasingly
bitter and partisan split between Bush and the
Democratic minority in
Congress, and there
had been no indication that as a presidential election
approached, his
nomination would win sufficient support in the Senate
to overcome a
filibuster.

His withdrawal is a major victory for liberal
activists, who had
portrayed Estrada as an extreme conservative unwilling
to answer key
questions about his judicial
philosophy.

"The saga of Miguel Estrada is a tale of rank and
unbridled Democrat
partisanship and the American people, sadly, are the
losers," Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist
(R-Tenn.) charged today.

Referring to other nominations stalled by Democratic
filibusters and
parliamentary maneuvers, Frist said: "The fight is not
over. We will
continue to press for an up or
down vote on the president's nominees."

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y), a leading opponent of
the nomination, said: "It's a victory for the
Constitution and the country." He said the Democrats,
who are in the minority in the Senate, would hold firm
on the other nominees they oppose.

Estrada's nomination also had come to represent the
increasing
attention
being given by both parties to Latino voters.

Estrada, an immigrant from Honduras, is a graduate of
Harvard Law
School. He was a member of the Justice Department
during the Clinton
administration and
practices law in Washington.

Two other Bush nominees to Appeals Court seats
Alabama Atty. Gen.
William Pryor and Texas Supreme Court Justice
Priscilla Owen have
also
run head-on
into Democratic objections. As with Estrada, Democrats
have said they
are too conservative for such a high-level judicial
position. Because
its decisions often reach
across the country, it is often considered the
second-highest court
after the Supreme Court.

One of the other nominees Democrats have targeted for
opposition is Los
Angeles Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl. They have
threatened a
filibuster on Kuhl's
nomination to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,
which has been
pending for two years. Republicans have not scheduled
a test vote yet.

For Bush and Republican leaders, Estrada's withdrawal
is a bitter
defeat, demonstrating their inability to puncture a
Senate filibuster
in
several test votes this year.

Estrada was one of the first nominees advanced by Bush
to the appeals
court - and quickly took on the highest profile as
the president
moved
to put his stamp on
the federal judiciary, even without a vacancy on the
Supreme Court. The
president nominated Estrada in May, 2001.

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Copyright 2003 Los
Angeles Times

Posted by richard at September 4, 2003 01:20 PM