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Excerpt from the President's Remarks at a Meeting on Welfare Reform with Bipartisan Members of the House
"It's my pleasure to welcome members of both political parties from the House of Representatives to discuss how we can continue to make progress in welfare reform. The welfare law of 1996 made a significant difference in the lives of a lot of our fellow citizens. Our job now is to build on that progress. And I want to thank the members for being here. I look forward to a good and fruitful discussion.
"I nominated a good man named Miguel Estrada for the Circuit Court here in Washington, D.C. Miguel Estrada is highly qualified, extremely intelligent. He has the votes necessary to be confirmed. Yet a handful of Democrats in the Senate are playing politics with his nomination. And it's shameful politics. This man -- this man is highly qualified, and I expect him to be nominated. And I expect him to get fairer treatment than he's getting from those who are really against the spirit of the United States Senate. And so I call upon fair play in the Senate, for the sake of a good, sound judiciary."
Excerpt from the President's Remarks at the 2003 "Congress of Tomorrow" Reception
"The first test, of course, is Miguel Estrada. Fabulous story. He's a great, great jurist -- a lawyer, will be a great jurist. And I expect that he will be given a fair hearing on the floor of the Senate. I expect the people of the Senate not to hold him up, not to try to talk his nomination into the ground, because Miguel Estrada not only represents the American Dream, but will do us proud on the bench. And I want to thank the Senators for standing strong for this good nominee. And when the vote comes up, this guy is going to be confirmed, and America -- the bench and America will be better for it."
Excerpt from the President's Remarks on Judicial Confirmations
"The eight who are stalled in the Judiciary Committee include people such as John Roberts. John Roberts has argued 38 cases before the Supreme Court. He has served as Deputy Solicitor General of the United States. He's widely regarded as one of the best Supreme Court lawyers in America.
"And they include Miguel Estrada, who has argued 15 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and has served in the Justice Department under Presidents of both political parties as a federal prosecutor and as the Assistant to the Solicitor General.
"The Judiciary Committee has prevented full Senate action on people such as Priscilla Owen, who has served brilliantly on the Texas Supreme Court since 1995, and was overwhelmingly reelected by the people of Texas in the year 2000. Mr. Roberts, Mr. Estrada and Justice Owen have the highest ratings from the American Bar Association, which some Democrat Senators have called, "the gold standard." They have broad support among lawyers in both political parties. Both Mr. Roberts and Mr. Estrada have the support of former President Clinton's Solicitor General. Justice Owen is supported by three former Democrat justices of the Texas Supreme Court.
"In all, I have sent to the Senate 32 nominees for the Court of Appeals. They are well qualified men and women with experience, intelligence, character and bipartisan home state support. They represent the mainstream of American law and American values. Yet the Senate has confirmed only 14 of these 32 nominees, which is far below the pace of past Senates at the start of an administration. It's a lousy record. Not one of my nine pending nominees to fill vacancies on the Sixth and D.C. Circuit Courts has received a Senate vote, not one. As of November, 15 of my Appeals Court nominees will have been forced to wait over a year for a hearing. That's more in this Presidency than under the previous nine Presidents combined.
"There's no good reason why any nominee should endure a year, a year-and-a-half, or more, without the courtesy of an up or down floor vote; there is not one good reason why. Whatever the explanation, we clearly have a poisoned and polarized atmosphere in which well qualified nominees are neither voted up or down; they are just left in limbo. This is unfair to the nominees and their families. This process discourages good people from serving as judges. It's also unfair to the courts themselves, which are forced to handle a growing caseload without the judges they need.
"Nine percent of all federal judgeships in America are now vacant, nine percent. Of the 12 regional Courts of Appeals, the courts right below the Supreme Court, there is a 17 percent vacancy rate. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Court, which rules on many significant Constitutional and regulatory issues, now operates with one-third of its judgeships empty. And the Sixth Court of Appeals which covers Kentucky and Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee, is nearly half empty, with nine active judges doing the work of 16."
Excerpt from the President's Remarks at a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Event
"Rosario mentioned my appointments to my government. I am proud to serve many, many exceptional Hispanic Americans. One of my jobs is to put the best people in the right jobs in every branch of government. I've done so in the Executive Branch, and I'll do so in the Judiciary Branch, as well. Right now the Senate Judiciary Committee is now considering a friend of mine, a guy named Mike -- Miguel Estrada. He's my nominee for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. If confirmed, he'll be the first Hispanic ever to serve on this important court.
"No one can deny that he's well-qualified. No one can deny he's a great lawyer and that he's highly skilled. Yet, unfortunately, there are senators who play politics with Miguel Estrada's nomination. There are senators searching for any reason to defeat him.
"I call upon the Senate leadership to treat Miguel Estrada with dignity and respect, and to bring his nomination up for the full Senate to confirm him before they adjourn.
"He's an American success story. He's an inspiration to many Americans. And he'll be an outstanding judge."
Excerpt from the President's Remarks at the White House Event for Hispanic Heritage Month
"One of my jobs as well is to make sure our bench is strong. I've named a fantastic Hispanic American to the bench, a young guy named Miguel Estrada. I named him to one of the highest courts possible, to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. It's an incredibly important appointment. He's well qualified. He is very smart. He came to our country from El Salvador, he couldn't speak English. He's now been picked, amongst all the candidates, to take on this highest of high positions in the bench. He's having trouble in the United States Senate.
"There are some senators -- certainly not Senator Hatch, who is one of his strongest advocates -- there are senators who are paying politics with this good man's nomination. There are senators who would rather not give him the benefit of the doubt; senators looking for a reason to defeat him, as opposed to looking for a reason to herald his intelligence, his capabilities, his talent. I strongly object to the way this man is going to be treated in the Senate. I urge the Senate to confirm the nomination of Miguel Estrada."
Excerpt from the President's Remarks to Hispanic Leaders
"I also want to make sure there is diversity in the judicial branch. I have named a really good man to the bench, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, named Miguel Estrada. And I expect the United States Senate to treat this man with respect. I don't want to see the same thing that happened to some of my other candidates, in that they distort his record. I don't want them to distort his record like they did Ms. Owen's or Mr. Pickering. For the sake of a good, strong federal bench, for the sake of recognizing this man's intelligence and his capabilities, the Senate needs to confirm Miguel Estrada."
Excerpt from the President's Remarks at an Annual Dinner
"And for a stronger America, we need good judges. We need people who will not write the law from the benches, but people who strictly interpret the Constitution. I have been appalled at what has taken place in the United States Senate recently. I named two good judges, one from Mississippi and one from my home state of Texas -- Charles Pickering, Pricilla Owen. Their records were distorted. I don't think they were given a fair hearing. Special interests got a hold of the committee. It is not right that these two fine, fine people were denied the bench.
"Soon the Senate will take up the nomination of Miguel Estrada. Miguel Estrada is an excellent lawyer. He's a fine man. He's an American success story. The Senate should not play politics with this nomination, for he will be an outstanding judge. One of the reasons to change the United States Senate is to make sure the good judges I nominate get a fair hearing, a swift vote, and approval."
Excerpt from the President's Remarks on Education with Hispanic Leaders
"And, you know, I've got a shining example right there in Washington I want to share a story with you , because we've got a little problem up there with this particular fellow. His name is Miguel Estrada. He's a young guy. He came to our country as a teenager. He barely spoke English. He had trouble with the language, because he didn't spend any time learning the language. And he got here, and he worked hard, and as a result of a good brain, brilliant mind, he now has argued 15 cases before the United States Supreme Court.
"I've named him to a high bench, but the Senate won't give him a hearing. Here's a kid who comes to our country, works hard, learns the language. He's a brilliant jurist. He can't even get a hearing. I nominated him over a year and a half ago. I want this man to serve as a bright example of what is possible in America. He'll be a great judge, and the Senate needs to act."
Excerpt from the President's Remarks at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Event
"And finally, I want to recognize Miguel Estrada. Miguel. (Applause.) Miguel is a really bright attorney who I've named to the U.S. -- nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. They're playing too much politics in the United States Senate on our judge nominees. This man deserves a hearing and he deserves a vote. This is a good, solid jurist who ought to be on that bench. And I'm calling on the United States Senate to move quickly on Miguel's nomination, so that we can have a good, young Latino; smart, brilliant man represent our nation. Thank you for being here, Miguel. "
Excerpt from the President's Remarks at the Hispanic Heritage Month Event
"I named a good man to be on the U.S. Court of Appeals, the D.C. Circuit, a man named Miguel Estrada. Miguel, where are you? Thank you for coming, Miguel. You know, there's a lot of talk in Washington about making sure we have diversity on our courts, and there should be. I ask the Senate to move this man's nomination through. He's smart, he's capable, he needs that job -- America needs to have him on the bench. Get him moving, before it's too late. "
Excerpt from the President's Remarks at the Federal Judicial Appointees Announcement
"With me this afternoon are my first 11 judicial nominees, individuals of experience and character. Four of them serve as United States district judges, all four confirmed by unanimous votes. Two others are sitting judges on state supreme courts. Four have served as law clerks in the Supreme Court of the United States. One has served here as an associate counsel to the President. One already holds the position for which I nominate him, by recess appointment of President Clinton.
"These men and women have followed different paths to this nomination. They come from diverse backgrounds, and will bring a wide range of experience to the bench. All have sterling credentials and have met high standards of legal training, temperament and judgment. "
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