LCCR Calls on Senators to Block Estrada, Administration’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Nominee

Media 01.30,03

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Citing as totally unacceptable President Bush’s nomination of Miguel Estrada, Wade Henderson, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, today called on senators who believe in a fair and balanced judiciary to block the nomination when it reaches the Senate floor.

“What we have is a nominee who refuses to answer legitimate questions about his positions and an administration that refuses to provide the U.S. Senate with information on what Mr. Estrada has written. This behavior is an affront to the Constitution and an affront to the Senate and the public’s right to know about a nominee who would have a lifetime position to reverse 50 years of progress in civil rights, equal opportunity, and other constitutional protections,” said Henderson.

“The Senate must reject President Bush’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ nominee,” said Henderson. “The time has come for the Senate to demonstrate that it will not be steamrolled into voting for judicial nominees who refuse to discuss their records.”

In a letter sent to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, LCCR stated, “A review of Mr. Estrada’s record to date indicates that his positions, opinions, and legal activities in numerous areas are troublesome and raise serious questions about his commitment to equal justice and civil rights for all Americans. In addition, by refusing to adequately answer numerous questions posed to him at his September 26, 2002 hearing, as well as written questions following the hearing, Mr. Estrada has failed to demonstrate a commitment to the continued vigorous enforcement of critical constitutional and statutory rights in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties.”