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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 6, 2003

President Bush Says Senate Filibuster Decision a "Disgrace"
Statement by the President

      In Focus: Judicial Nominations

Miguel Estrada is a well-qualified nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals who has been waiting nearly two years for an up or down vote in the United States Senate. The decision today by 44 Senators to continue to filibuster and block a vote on this nomination is a disgrace.

The Senate has a responsibility to exercise its constitutional advice and consent function and hold an up or down vote on a judicial nominee within a reasonable time. Some Senators who once insisted that every appeals court nominee deserves a timely vote have now abandoned that principle for partisan politics. Their tactics are an injustice and unfair to the good man I have nominated, and unfaithful to the Senate's own obligations.

These Senators are holding Miguel Estrada to a double standard. I will stand by Miguel Estrada's side until he is sworn in as a judge. I call on the Senate Democratic leadership to stop playing politics, and permit a vote on Miguel Estrada's nomination. Let each Senator vote as he or she thinks best, but give the man a vote.


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