Standing up to the Steamroller

In spite of a remarkable success rate in filling the federal courts with conservative judges, the Bush administration and Republican Senate leaders are demanding more – a complete abdication of senators’ duty to stand up for values that are threatened by a judiciary dominated by far-right ideologues.

Jack Newfield writes on June 2, 2003 in The Nation, “A recognition has dawned on almost all the Senate Democrats that Bush is trying to remake America through his lifetime appointments to the federal bench. He is attempting to pack the courts with zealots and activists who are not impartial and who will legislate from the bench. The Senate Democrats have finally realized that this is an assault on their electoral base – women, minorities, workers, consumers- and even conservatives like Fritz Hollings and Mary Landrieu are holding fast on the filibuster.”

On February 17, 2003, The Minnesota Dailyoffered a similar sentiment. “It is true that Senate Democrats are playing hard-line, drag-out-the-guts politics by stalling Estrada’s confirmation. But this exercise of wills is necessary to prevent an FDR-like court packing. The delicately balanced powers of the government’s three branches could be at state if the Senate’s right to [review] judicial candidates is further eroded.”

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