Recipient: Arlen Specter
The Honorable Arlen Specter
United States Senate
711 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Specter:
On behalf of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, we write to express our sincere disappointment in your support for moving forward Miguel Estrada’s nomination without knowing more about his views. We hope that during the next cloture vote you take into consideration the concerns of LCCR and the constituencies it represents.
The composition of the federal judiciary is of profound civil rights importance to all Americans because the individuals charged with dispensing justice in our society have a direct impact on civil rights protections for all. Given the increasing conservatism and anti-civil rights rulings of the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, it is crucial that any new appointee to these courts be a moderating influence who will respect the rule of law and judicial precedent.
In our system of checks and balances, the Senate has a constitutional role of equal importance to that of the President. In carrying out its role, the Senate must ensure that judicial nominees are subject to the highest standard of scrutiny. No President has a mandate to secure the appointment of individuals to the bench whose views are unknown.
Please contact Nancy Zirkin, LCCR Deputy Director, at 202-263-2880, or Julie Fernandes, Senior Policy Analyst, at 202-263-2856, if you would like to discuss this, or any issue of importance to LCCR.
Dr. Dorothy I. Height