Senators are considering using a filibuster to prevent the confirmation of Miguel Estrada. The modern-day filibuster, a Senate procedure that requires 60 senators to agree to a vote on significant issues, is an essential check on the abuse of majority power and can be an effective strategy for achieving bipartisan cooperation.
In a party-line vote, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to recommend Senate approval of Miguel Estrada to a lifetime seat on the federal appeals court even though Senators and the public know very little about Estrada’s approach to judging – and what they do know is troubling.
Breaking with a bipartisan agreement, dating to the 1980's the Senate Judicairy Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch held a single hearing to examine three controversial nominees to lifetime seats on the federal appeals courts, virtually guaranteeing that senators would not be able to conduct a thoughtful and thorough review of their records.
People For the American Way today released detailed analyses of the records and legal philosophies of Jeffrey Sutton and Deborah Cook, among the first Bush administration appeals court nominees scheduled for confirmation hearings before the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee on January 29. PFAW urged Senators to examine carefully both nominees’ records and to protect Americans’ rights and liberties by refusing to confirm them to lifetime positions on the appeals court.
Report of People For the American Way
in Opposition to the Confirmation of
Jeffrey Sutton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit