For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 9, 2005
President's Statement on Judicial Nominations
Four years ago today, I nominated Justice Priscilla Owen and Judge Terry Boyle to serve on the Federal courts of appeals. Four years later, neither has received an up-or-down vote in the Senate. Both have been rated well-qualified by the American Bar Association, the highest ABA rating a judicial nominee can receive. Both have been waiting to fill vacancies that have been designated judicial emergencies by the Judicial Conference of the United States. Much more than enough time has passed for the Senate to consider these nominations. The Senate should give these extraordinarily qualified nominees the up-or-down votes they deserve without further delay.
It is only fair that the Senate promptly consider judicial nominees on the floor, discuss and debate their qualifications, and then vote to confirm or not to confirm them. Nominees who have the support of a majority of the Senate should be confirmed. Unfortunately, a minority of Senators is blocking the will of the Senate.
Over the course of the past four years, the blocking of judicial nominees in the Senate has escalated to an unprecedented level. Last Congress, ten of my appeals court nominees were filibustered. Each of these highly qualified nominees enjoyed the bipartisan support of a majority of Senators. Each would have been confirmed if given a simple up-or-down vote. Each deserved a simple up-or-down vote by the entire Senate.
I urge the Senate to put aside the partisan practices of the past and work together to ensure that all nominees are treated fairly and that all Americans receive timely justice in our Federal courts.