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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 13, 2003

President Calls on Senate to End Judicial Nomination Delays
Statement by the President

      Policy in Focus: Judicial Nominations

Today, 42 Senate Democrats have decided to continue their filibuster to block a vote on the nomination of Miguel Estrada. The Senate has a Constitutional responsibility to hold an up or down vote on all judicial nominees within a reasonable time, but some Senate Democrats have abandoned that responsibility in favor of partisan obstructionist tactics.

The judicial confirmation process is broken and the consequences for the American people are real. Because of the Senate's failure to hold timely votes, the number of judicial vacancies has become unacceptably high.

When the Federal Courts are understaffed, they cannot act in a timely manner to resolve disputes that affect the lives and liberties of all Americans.

In order to protect the rights of Americans and the sanctity of the Constitution, this obstruction must end. Miguel Estrada was nominated nearly two years ago, yet he still has not received a fair vote.

I call on the Senate to end the delays, stop holding Miguel Estrada to a double standard, and live up to its responsibility to hold an up or down vote on this highly qualified nominee. As I said before, let each Senator vote as he or she thinks best, but give the man a vote.


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