Civil Rights Coalition Responds to Senator Hatch’s Allegations on Estrada

Media 09.5,03

WASHINGTON ? 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:

LCCR was surprised once again to hear Senator Hatch’s allegation that Miguel Estrada was treated differently by Senate Democrats because he is Hispanic. By focusing on Estrada’s ethnicity, rather than his unwillingness to be forthcoming and answer the Judiciary Committee’s questions, Senator Hatch prefers to distort, rather than confront the facts.

The American people want a balanced and fair judicial system. Further, the American people want nominees for lifetime appointments — no matter their race, ethnicity, or gender — who are willing to provide answers to senators who have a constitutional duty to advise and consent on the president’s judicial appointments.

It was Estrada’s repeated refusal to answer questions and be forthcoming about his record, not his ethnicity, that made him ill-suited to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Senator Hatch should stop attacking those who oppose nominees with extremist positions who seek to reverse a half-century of progress for individual and civil rights. Rather, Senator Hatch should join with LCCR and others to send a message to President Bush to submit nominees who are fair and balanced, and in the mainstream.