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ISSUE 116 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/7/2003

Democrats betray minorities by blocking circuit judge appointment

By Julie Gunderson
News Editor

Friday, March 7, 2003

Liberals have long claimed to speak for the exploited and the downtrodden.

Democrats assert themselves as the voice of the voiceless, proudly recalling their days as the party that carried the Civil Rights Banner of the 1960’s. But a pendulum swing in America’s leftist platform has turned the once compassionate Democrats into heartless politicians. The one-time liberators have become the oppressors.

Apparently for Democrats, stepping on the rights of conservative minorities and amending the most sacred document in American history are within their ethical bounds. The filibuster by 41 Senate Democrats, who blocked the vote on the confirmation of Miguel Estrada to the United States D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, flies in the face of American democracy.

In a corrupt attempt to undermine the executive branch’s authority on judiciary appointments, liberals have given themselves the license to recklessly toss aside the Constitution for their own political gain.

Estrada’s appointment to the D.C. Circuit Court would be a barrier breaker for Hispanic Americans. He would be the first Hispanic minority to ever serve on this court, the second highest in the nation.

However, demagogue Democrats, wielding their partisan political agenda, refuse to even bring the Estrada nomination to a Senate vote, 21 months after President Bush first proposed the nomination to the Judicial Committee.

Democrats retort that Estrada lacks judicial experience for the job. But the numbers tell a different story. Since 1976, 15 of the 18 nominations to the D.C. court had the same credentials as Estrada has. All 26 of Clinton’s circuit judge nominees who were confirmed held the same experience as Estrada.

Estrada has also been pressed by Democrats to release documents that he wrote while working in the solicitor general’s office. The Justice Department refuses to comply with this demand and is supported by all seven of the living, former solicitor generals, (four of which are Democrats) who maintain that releasing such documents would infringe upon the confidentiality of the department.

Furthermore, Democrats are applying a double standard to the Estrada nomination. Biased Senators are obligating Estrada to jump through unnecessary hoops and hanging him up on every technicality they can find. They are hounding him with questions that no other nominees have been forced to answer; prying into his political beliefs when approval for judicial appointments does not hinge on a judge's stance on issues, but rather on his qualifications for the job.

The bottom line is that Estrada is a highly qualified judge who deserves the right to serve in this nation’s courts. The American Bar Association has unanimously given him its highest rating of approval. Estrada’s supervisors in the solicitor general’s office also gave him the highest possible rating. There is no logical reason for denying Estrada’s appointment.

Liberals must acknowledge this.

In 1998, Democratic Senator, Pat Leahy, publicly scourged filibustering against any judicial nominee and claimed that it was shameful for the Senate not to give each nominee a vote. Yet today, Leahy stands as one of the 41 Democrats spearheading the filibuster against Estrada. Shameful. But typical.

It’s sad to see politicians who can’t even recognize their own hypocrisy when it’s right beneath their noses. It’s even sadder to think that they could possibly get away with it. Where are the protesters? Where are the coalitions crowding into the streets with outcry? The Democratic Party is publicly discriminating against a minority and no one cares?

Here we have a President working for inclusiveness, and supporting the rights of minorities by nominating a qualified candidate to a position of power. Democrats reject him simply because he doesn’t serve their political goals.

Delusional left-wingers still feeling cheated out of the presidency and crestfallen over failing to gain Congressional control in last fall’s election have forced liberal leadership to find a way to govern from the minority. The solution for these vigilante liberals is to hijack our country’s judicial system.

The American people are not blind to justice. We know that Estrada deserves to be on the bench. We also know why he is not there. The document laid down by the framers of this nation serves as the last line of defense. At stake is the fate of American justice. Will liberals succeed in cutting the heart out of the Constitution?

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