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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 1, 2003
President Calls for Action on Judicial Nominees
Statement by the President
This week, a minority of Senators continued to filibuster highly qualified judicial nominees who enjoy the support of a majority of Senators. These obstructionist tactics are unprecedented, unfair, and unfaithful to the Senate's constitutional responsibility to vote on judicial nominees.
These highly qualified nominees have stellar records that represent the mainstream of American law and values, and strong bipartisan support from those who know them best. Instead of allowing an up-or-down vote, a minority of Senators have been filibustering Miguel Estrada for nearly five months and Priscilla Owen for three months, and are now obstructing the nomination of Bill Pryor. The failure to hold votes on these nominations not only is inconsistent with the Senate's constitutional responsibility, but also has caused extended judicial vacancies that are harmful to the American judicial system.
Every judicial nominee should receive an up-or-down vote in the full Senate, no matter who is President or which party controls the Senate. It is time to move past the partisan politics of the past, and do what is right for the American legal system and the American people. Let each Senator vote how he or she thinks best, but give the nominees a vote.