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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 7, 2004
Fact Sheet: Judicial Nominees
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. - President George W. Bush, August 1, 2003
Today, the President met with his North Carolina and Michigan judicial nominees whose votes have been unfairly delayed in the Senate.
All nine of the President's North Carolina and Michigan nominees are outstanding judicial candidates who deserve prompt consideration by the Senate.
However, some Democratic Senators have been blocking their confirmations.
The extraordinary delays in the Senate are harming the administration of justice -- especially in North Carolina and Michigan.
The President is fulfilling his constitutional responsibility to
ensure a strong judiciary.
As of today, July 7, 2004, the President has nominated 225 individuals to the Federal courts - 51 to the circuit courts and 174 to the district courts. The President's nominees come from diverse backgrounds, share sterling credentials, and are superbly qualified, with the finest legal training, unquestionable character, and proven judgment.
The President's judicial nominees are highly respected and
qualified men and women.
President Bush's nominees are the most qualified of any recent Administration, based on a review of American Bar Association ratings. Of the President's nominees who have been rated by the American Bar Association, 99% have been rated either well-qualified or qualified.
Some Democratic Senators are using unprecedented obstructionist
tactics to block the President's judicial nominees.
A Senate minority composed of Democrats is obstructing the judicial confirmation process by waging unprecedented filibusters against some of the President's most important nominees -- those to the Federal courts of appeals. Six of the President's appeals court nominees who have been favorably reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee have been denied up-or-down votes. Each has enjoyed the support of a bipartisan majority of Senators and would be confirmed if given a vote.
Home-State Democratic Senators have also succeeded in delaying
confirmation hearings on judicial nominees.
In this Presidency, more appeals court nominees have had to wait over a year for a confirmation hearing than in the last 50 years combined.
These obstructionist tactics are harming our judicial system.
The efforts of some Democratic Senators to delay the confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominees come at a time when filings in the federal courts are at an all-time high. More than one-third (11) of the President's 25 pending judicial nominees are waiting to fill seats that have been designated judicial emergencies.
The President has proposed a plan to fix the broken judicial
The President has proposed a plan that would return fairness and dignity to the judicial confirmation process and would apply no matter who is President or which party controls the Senate. Under the President's plan, judges would provide one-year advance notice of retirement, when possible; Presidents would submit nominations within 180 days of receiving notice of a vacancy or intended retirement, absent extraordinary circumstances; the Senate Judiciary Committee would hold a hearing within 90 days of receiving a nomination, and the full Senate would vote up-or-down on a nominee no more than 180 days after a nomination is submitted. Since announcing his plan, the President has submitted nominations within 180 days of receiving notice of a vacancy or intended retirement, absent extraordinary circumstances. And the Judicial Conference has adopted a policy for judges to give one-year advance notice of retirement. Regrettably, the Senate has not done its part. In many cases, it has unfairly delayed action on judicial nominations.
North Carolina nominees: