In response to today's Senate vote to confirm Catharina Haynes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert released the following statement:
“George W. Bush is in the twilight of his presidency and his approval ratings are scraping bottom, yet the Senate confirmed another controversial Bush nominee to a lifetime seat on the federal bench. Bush wants to remake the judiciary as part of his legacy, and the Senate must not continue to aid and abet his efforts.”
“Despite President Bush’s brazen rejection of compromise and consultation over judicial nominations, his nominees have fared far better under the Senate Democrats than President Clinton’s did under Republican control. When President Bush refused to meet them halfway, they went far above and beyond what was required of them. It is incredibly galling that Senate Republicans are throwing another tantrum over nominees — the manufactured hysterics are being ramped up but aren’t fooling anyone.
“Now is the time for Senate leaders to say ‘enough’ to nominees who would undermine Americans’ rights and liberties. The ‘Thurmond Rule,’ a longstanding Senate practice, dictates that only non-controversial judicial nominees should be processed by the Senate in the months preceding a presidential election. The nominee confirmed today, Catharina Haynes, failed to meet that standard .
“We don’t expect better from President Bush, but we do expect Senate leaders to resist pressure tactics and tell the president, ‘enough is enough.’”