Civil Rights Coalition Applauds Senate Democrats for Standing Up to President Bush’s Court-Packing Scheme

Media 03.6,03

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, issued the following statement today and applauded 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.”

“Today’s cloture vote on Miguel Estrada sends a clear message — it is unacceptable to force the U.S. Senate and the American people to approve stealth judicial candidates and those who subscribe to a ‘states’ rights’ philosophy that curtails Congress’ power to enact federal legislation aimed at protecting civil and human rights, providing equal opportunity, and improving the quality of life for all Americans.”

“President Bush should re-consider his strategy of packing the courts with right wing ideologues; it will not work. The White House and Senate Republicans must engage in serious deliberations with Senate Democrats about fostering a bipartisan, balanced, fair, and independent judiciary.”

“LCCR opposes Miguel Estrada’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit because he has failed to demonstrate his qualifications 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.”

“All Americans have the right to be free from discrimination based on race, national origin, religion, gender or disability; the right to organize in a union and be protected by national labor standards; the right to clean air and water; and the right to equal opportunity in employment and education.”

“While many have fought for years to secure these rights, they are not secure without a federal judiciary ready to stand vigilant to protect them. LCCR will continue to urge the Senate to exercise its constitutional responsibility to fully scrutinize President Bush’s judicial nominees to ensure a fair, balanced, and independent judiciary.”