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VOL. 4, NO. 11 JUNE 6, 2002

Bush's Judicial Nominees Wait, and Wait, and Wait . . .
"The overall shortage of judges [on the federal bench has] become staggering." (Leonidas R. Mecham, Secretary of the U. S. Judicial Conference.) Indeed, the vacancy crisis in the federal courts is "alarming." (Chief Justice William Rehnquist)

Despite these dismal descriptions, the Judiciary Committee continues to fiddle while justice burns. Recent increases in Committee activity are delusive. Dems may be passing more judges; but they are the non-controversial candidates, virtually all named to District Courts. Meanwhile, some of Bush's most qualified, but "controversial" nominees, and candidates for the powerful Courts of Appeals, languish in the wings.

Two brighter spots in this bleak picture have been the Judiciary Committee's passage to the floor of two contested nominations. Paul Cassell (named to the District Court for Utah) was sent to the floor after a fight. And Judge D. Brooks Smith (nominated to the 3rd Circuit Court) was also passed. The Smith vote was 12-7, with yea votes by all GOP members and three Dems-Biden (DE), Kohl, (WI), and Edwards (NC).

But 8 of Bush's first 11 nominees to appellate courts (on May 9, 2001) still await a Committee hearing:

District of Columbia Circuit:
  • Miguel Estrada, partner in a Washington, D.C. law firm;
  • John Roberts, one of the nation's top appellate attorneys;

    4th Circuit:
  • Terrence Boyle, Chief Judge of the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina;
  • Dennis Shedd, Judge of the U. S. District Court for South Carolina

    5th Circuit:
  • Priscilla Owen, Texas Supreme Court Justice

    6th Circuit:
  • Deborah Cook, Ohio Supreme Court Justice
  • Jeffrey Sutton, a leading appellate attorney:

    10th Circuit:
  • Michael McConnell, a leading constitutional scholar and Presidential Professor at the University Utah College of Law
  • Liberal/activists have already attacked most of these nominees, or appear to have them targeted-Estrada, Roberts, Owen, Sutton, Cook, and McConnell. These attacks, the recent borking of 5th Circuit nominee Charles Pickering, and the opposition to 9th Circuit nominee, California Judge Carolyn Kuhl, have monotonous similarities. The detractors are the same-People for the American Way, the Alliance for Justice, the National Organization for Women, and the National Abortion Rights Action League are leading the charge. And the charges are also monotonously similar-the nominees are variously impugned for being pro-life, racists, anti-feminists, religious zealots, etc.

    The Dems also cry loudly for "balance" on the Circuit Courts. But what about the "balance" on the following circuits?:

    2nd Circuit: 10/13 members are Dem-appointees;

    6th Circuit: 6/8 current judges are Dem-appointees; all 7 of Bush's appointees have so far been denied a hearing;

    9th Circuit: 17/24 judges are Dem-appointees; Bush's 2 nominees have so far been denied a hearing;

    10th Circuit: 5/8 members are Dem-Appointees; Bush's 2 appointees still await a hearing. The real truth behind the liberal/activist blitz on Bush's nominees is obviously in the numbers. Indeed, if the Senate confirms all of the Bush nominees by the end of 2002, 10 of our 13 Circuits would have Republican-appointed majorities.

    The GOP, however, has hardly proven itself to be equal to the task of effectively defending its President's nominees, as pointed out by Phyllis Schlafly in a recent article. To quote from David Horowitz in his insightful book, The Art of Political Warfare, "the left-wing activists who now make up the core of the Democratic Party understand the nature of political war in our democracy, and Republicans quite simply do not." The results of this perilous condition are inevitable: "In political warfare, if only one side is shooting, the other side will soon be dead."

    It is obviously long past time for us to start shooting back!:

    1. Express to the White House, your Senators, GOP leaders, and the public (through media efforts), the necessity of the Senate's moving forward with fair and expeditious hearings for all judicial nominees.

    2. Become better prepared to fight back by registering for our unique and exciting Eagle Forum University course: "Introduction to Courting Justice, I: How We Can Rescue Our Constitution and Reclaim Our Courts." The course will be taught from July 1-July 31. Part II of the course will be taught shortly thereafter.

    3. Visit a sister web site, blackstoneinstitute.org, for a wealth of resources which you can use to understand and address the moribund and dangerous relationships which exist today between American culture, the Constitution, and the courts.


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