Civil Rights Coalition Applauds Senate Democrats For Standing Up For Fairness, Equality and the Constitution

Media 02.11.03

Judicial Confirmation Process is Not a Rubber Stamp — Requires Bipartisanship, Consultation, and Compromise

Washington, DC ? 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, issued the following statement today applauding the overwhelming majority of Senate Democrats for recognizing their Constitutional responsibility to fully scrutinize President Bush’s judicial nominees.

“The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights is pleased that Democratic Senators are standing up for all Americans who care about fairness and equality by calling for greater scrutiny of President Bush’s judicial nominees,” said Henderson. “The White House and Senate Republicans must engage in serious deliberations with Senate Democrats about fostering a bipartisan, fair, and independent judiciary.”

“Several Republican senators have engaged in divisive and insulting name calling in the debate over the qualifications of Miguel Estrada for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. To have principled opposition to Mr. Estrada’s nomination mischaracterized as ‘anti-Hispanic’ is an insult to our organizations and to the millions of Americans we represent,” Henderson stated.

Continued Henderson, “Civil and human rights organizations whose members have sacrificed and fought tough battles against racism and to end discriminatory barriers should not be attacked for their principled opposition to a nominee. Supporters of Mr. Estrada should consider the tone in which they voice their opinions.”

“LCCR opposes Miguel Estrada’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit because he has failed to meet the burden of demonstrating his qualification and suitability for this prestigious position. We are concerned that he is a far-right stealth nominee, who has been unwilling to discuss his views of important legal issues. Supporters of this nominee should not resort to impugning the principled opposition of civil and human rights organizations in their efforts to get Miguel Estrada confirmed,” concluded Henderson.