Ending Judicial Obstruction
May 19, 2003
The time has come for President George W. Bush to become more pro-active by aggressively pushing through his judicial nominations to the federal courts. And there’s a way he can do it that is both legal and required by the U.S. Constitution!
For far too long, liberal Democrats in the Senate such as Tom Daschle (D-SD), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and many others have blocked through a filibuster some highly qualified judicial nominations, such as Miguel Estrada and Priscilla Owen, because they have been deemed by them as “too conservative.” What they mean to say is that these judges aren’t liberal enough for their liking.
All I can say is tough luck, Democrats! Didn't President Clinton appoint a multitude of judges that were liberal? And the Republicans were powerless to do anything about it at the time either. Now that George W. Bush is president, the Democrats don't think this is fair to them. Poor babies! Appointing judges to federal courts is one of the big perks of being the President of the United States that can make a lasting impact on the judicial system for many years to come.
Since President Bush was elected in 2000, only 53% of his appeals court nominees have been confirmed compared to the over 90% rate for the past three presidents. This purposeful act of obstruction by the Democrats is unprecedented in American history!
Furthermore, as a result of Senate Democrats refusing to confirm these qualified judges, the judicial system has become severely damaged. There are currently 50 federal judge vacancies as a result of the obstructionist tactics of the Democrats. More than half of these vacancies are in appellate courts that are currently in the midst of a “judicial emergency,” according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. A “judicial emergency” is defined as having more than 600 cases for a judge or between 438 to 600 cases given to a judge where a vacancy has been in place in excess of 18 months.
Because of the severity of this problem, President Bush must not allow the Democrats to continue to obstruct judicial nominees any longer. He should use his presidential power as outlined in the U.S. Constitution to resolve this issue immediately. He should invoke his powers under Article II, Section 2 to fill any necessary judicial vacancies during a Senate recess.
Why not? The Democrats have been using the rarely used filibuster tactic to block his nominations. Shouldn’t President Bush be able to utilize an equally rare constitutional power to appoint judicial nominees during the Senate recess? Yes, he should and he will if he ever hopes to get his judicial nominees appointed!
This is the right thing for President Bush to do because the Democrats have been playing politics with these judicial nominations for far too long. It is time for the childish games to end!
And what can the Democrats say about this? Yeah, they’ll kick and scream bloody murder by claiming that President Bush is pushing his right-wing agenda on America by packing the courts with conservative judges. But the president can easily retort this claim by promising not to use this power again if Democrats will agree not to obstruct the Senate from voting on judicial nominees within three months of their approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee. That’s fair, isn’t it? The bottom line is that these nominations should at least get an up or down vote. The Democrats don't even want THAT to happen!
If Democrats insist on blocking these judicial nominees from a full vote of the Senate, then the American people will see right through the foolish partisan tactics of the radical liberals who are still in charge of the Democrat Party. The Democrats, who are still smarting from the whooping they received in the 2002 elections, may suffer even worse defeats in the 2004 elections if they continue to allow their partisanship to show like this.
President Bush has nothing to lose by implementing this strategy either. The U.S. Constitution gives him the right to fill these judicial vacancies. But he won’t use this power unless his supporters assure him that this is what they want him to do. We must contact the White House and let President Bush know that we support his decision to exercise his constitutional power to fill judicial appointments next week.
There is a movement in the U.S. Senate to change the rules concerning filibusters on judicial appointments. But the U.S. Constitution gives the president all the power he needs to make these appointments once the Senate leaves Washington during the Memorial Day break. Let President Bush know you want him to fill these judicial vacancies when the Senate leaves town!
It’s time for President Bush to stand up to the radical agenda of liberal Democrats in the Senate like he has in the past. We must stop the tyrannical tactics of the Democrat Party!