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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Those Democrats are Blocking Judges

Except they aren't. From yesterday's Ask the White House with White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales (spelling/grammar copied directly from the original):
hasan, from boulder writes:
why is the nomination of these judges so contraversal?

Alberto Gonzales
A great majority of the President's nominees are not controversial. To date, the Senate has confirmed 88% of the President's nominees. Even the few judges who are being filibustered have the support of a majority of Senators and would be confirmed if given an up-or-down vote. It is important to note that 99 percent of the President's nominees have been rated "well-qualified" or "qualified" by the American Bar Association, and based on a recent non-partisan study, this President's nominees are considered, based on a review of ABA ratings, the the most qualified of any recent Administration.
But earlier, Gonzales answered this question:
Neil, from Pennsylvania writes:
Are present federal judges having to do more because the federal government cannot agree on who to appoint and confirm for the many judicial vacancies across the country?

Alberto Gonzales
Right now, more than one-third (11) of the President's pending nominees (25) are waiting to fill vacancies that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has designated as "judicial emergencies." These "judicial emergencies" generally indicate that the vacancies are placing additional burdens on judges who are already carrying full case loads. The fact that these vacancies remain open can mean that cases are not resolved in a timely manner. A continuing judicial vacancy is a disservice to the American public.
So, Alberto, since the Senate has shown that it is willing to approve 88% of the boy-king's nominations, why not just nominate a few more like them to address these "emergencies" rather than picking right-wing idiotlogues and then complaining when the Democratic senators do their job?

At least there are a few people awake out there:
Thomas, from Charlotte, North Carolina writes:
Judge Gonzales, How many names has President Bush submitted in nomination for a seat on the federal bench, (all courts) since taking office and, of those, how many have been confirmed and how many are still pending?

Thank you, sir.

Alberto Gonzales
The President has nominated 225 men and women to the federal bench; 198 have been confirmed, and 25 remain pending.
Ron, from Columbus, Ohio writes:
I watched President Bush speak in North Carolina today during my lunch hour. He complained that the Senator Edwards (NC) was unfairly obstructing the President's placement of a Federal Judge from North Carlina. Why is this it considered "obstructing" when Senator Edwards does but isn't when Senator Helms did the same to Clinton nominees to Judgeships? Or, was Senator Helms also obstructing progress as well? I need to be educated on how this process works.Thank you,

Columbus, Ohio

Alberto Gonzales
President Bush has said that the judicial confirmation is broken and has been so for some time. It is unfair for any Senator to block a judicial nominee -- all deserve timely up-or-down votes. To fix the broken confirmation process, the President has proposed a plan for timely consideration of judicial nominees that would apply no matter who is President or which party controls Congress.
Chaz, from Tacoma WA writes:
Can you explain why President Bush continues to state that the democrats in the Senate are using "obstructionist tactics" to block judicial nominees when in fact only three nominees have been blocked, and Clinton by comparison had 20 nominees blocked?

Please note that the Senate has confirmed 198 judges... a rate of confirmation higher than Clinton experienced (with 377 judges confirmed during his 8 years in office).

Alberto Gonzales
As I noted, six qualifed appeals court nominees who have the support of a majority of Senators and would be confirmed if given a vote, have been filibustered. This is unprecedented in the history of the Senate. In this Presidency, more appeals court nominees have had to wait longer than a year for a hearing than in the last fifty years combined.
So what is "unprecedented" is the use of the filibuster, which is about the only thing protecting us from a total Republican trampling of the Constitution. They had the nerve to suggest that Max Cleland was buddies with Osama because he wasn't patriotic enough to lose a FOURTH limb in Vietnam, and then rigged the election in Georgia just to be sure that they gained control of the Senate. Now they want to make sure that they control every last court in America so that no one can successfully appeal the next stolen election, coming this November.