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Coup D'Estrada
by Gary Schneider, TheRealityCheck.org
5 March 2003

The partisan politics of the Senate Democrats with the Miguel Estrada judicial nomination.


Senate Democrats have elevated their policies of obstruction to new heights with dangerous and unprecedented attempts to blindly exert power over the Bush Administration through aggressive political posturing and delay of its political and judicial appointees. This blind contravention is manifested in the application of liberal litmus tests and stalling tactics to these nominees at every step within the nomination process. They are patent and partisan efforts to delay or deny Bush, and like-minded Americans, the successful placement of individuals who possess mainstream conservative beliefs to influential positions within the Executive and Judicial branches of our government. It is a tact that amounts to circumvention, indeed subversion, of our political system and our heritage of fair mindedness.

The latest victim in this Liberal stream of political malfeasance is Miguel Estrada, a Hispanic attorney up for a Judgeship to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In defiance of personal pleas by President Bush and many others, Daschle and his minions have continuously delayed the appointment of Mr. Estrada and have begun a filibuster to prevent a vote for his confirmation from reaching the Senate floor all together. According to Bush, "He has the votes necessary to be confirmed. Yet a handful of Democrats in the Senate are playing politics with his nomination, and its shameful politics." … Indeed. Only one Judicial nominee has been blocked by a filibuster. He was Abe Fortas, nominated by Lyndon Johnson to be Chief Justice way back in 1968.

Logically one would think that there is some exceptional reason why the Democrats would sink to such unparalleled depths to prevent this nomination, right? Not really; It appears to be a conscious implementation of an intensified brand of partisan power politics. Senator Orrin Hatch (R- Utah) has recently pointed out that the tactics being employed by Democrats may in fact be the recalcitrant spawn born of a Democrat retreat held last April "where leading liberals urged them to change the ground rules on judicial confirmations…" Since that time, when control of the Senate shifted to the Democrats in June 2001, there was an immediate halt of nominations activity in the Judiciary Committee...and when they did make it to committee, the delaying tactic of reviewing only one circuit nominee at a time was put in play. By any account, Mr. Estrada is immensely qualified but he is apparently not Liberal enough - Democrats seem to feel that Bush should ignore his own political convictions and nominate one of them.

Estrada graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1983 from Columbia College, then magna cum laude in 1986 from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. His professional career has been equally as exemplary. He was a clerk for Second Circuit Judge Amalya Kearse -- a Carter appointee, as well as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He worked in New York City as an associate at the law firm of Wachtell Lipton. He then worked as a federal prosecutor in Manhattan, eventually becoming deputy chief of the appellate division there. During the first Bush Administration, he was hired by the Solicitor General’s office and remained there for most of the Clinton Administration. Upon leaving that post, he joined the office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, in Washington D.C. He has overcome a speech impediment to argue 15 cases before the Supreme Court, and English is not even his first language. Lastly, Mr. Estrada has received the highest ranking of "Unanimously Well Qualified" by the American Bar Association. There can be no ambiguity here … the Democrats are effectively holding our system of government hostage to exert and retain power. Power they democratically lost last November and power they will continue to lose through the appointment of more conservative judges who typically interpret the law within the context of the Constitution verses Liberal judges who often choose to make the law irrespective of it. Decency, decorum, honor … American Democracy be damned.

The reality is that during the Clinton, Reagan and HW Bush Administrations, ALL of the first 11 circuit nominees were confirmed well within one year of the nominations. In complete contrast to this record, President George W. Bush has had only three of his first eleven circuit nominees confirmed within one year of their nomination. Only five, that’s less than half of them, were confirmed during the entire 107th Congress. One of those left behind was Miguel Estrada. Some nominations have been pending for nearly
two years now.

Americans of honor, like President Bush who genuinely have the best interest of this nation in mind, stand incredulous to these obstructionist and un-American antics. Not just Incredulous because the specific actions, in and of themselves, are without just cause … but because the larger precedent being established is one that marginalizes the ability of our government to function effectively, efficiently and in a truly fair and representative manner over the long term.

In small, often unnoticed increments the Liberal Left persistently and shamelessly progresses activities that erode the very fabric of this government and its people. This is another one of them.

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Gary Schneider is the President and founder of TheRealityCheck.Org, Inc., a Conservative policy advocacy group established to promote and defend conservative social, political and economic principles nationally, through the origination and dissemination of commentary, analysis, news and research tools via the public Internet and other channels. TheRealityCheck.Org, Inc. is located in Shelton CT.

Schneider received his degree in Government and Russian Studies at Norwich University’s Military College of Vermont, the nations oldest private military academy. At Norwich he held numerous leadership positions within the Corp of Cadets. In 1989 Schneider moved to New York, where he initially conducted financial research for various on-line and print publications used by Wall Street investors. Since that time, he has built and led research teams and oversaw the creation of global financial research and news products for some of the largest media organizations in the world to include Thomson Financial and, for the last 9 years, as a Vice- President for Reuters, the worlds largest news and television agency. Schneider has also attended executive leadership training at the University of Michigan and received a certificate in e-Commerce from New York University. His articles have most recently appeared in IntellectualConservative.com and TheRightWing.com and CommonConservative.com

During his 14 year career, Schneider has traveled extensively to Europe and throughout the United States. In addition to Politics and Finance, his hobbies include fitness, mountain-biking and is actively involved in his Church