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Qualified Jurist Driven Away by Liberals
by Isaiah Z. Sterrett
08 September 2003Miguel Estrada

Democratic Senators refused to even vote on the nomination of Miguel Estrada.

Ann Coulter says the Democratic Party has gone the way of the Whigs. 

And she just may be right.
For the last twenty-eight months, Senate Democrats have prevented the nomination of Miguel Estrada -- among others -- from coming to an up-down vote on the Senate Floor.  Despite the fact that he'd worked in Bill Clinton's Solicitor General's Office, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and worked as a high profile attorney in Washington for years, Democrats claimed that they were baffled by him.
Was he in favor of sucking little babies down tubes? Did he have the radical point of view that the Founders meant that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed when they wrote that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?" Does he think certain people should get more points in the Admissions Office because hundreds of years ago their ancestors may have been slaves? These were the serious questions Democrats were wrestling with.

But rather than announce that Estrada was just another right-wing kook, followed by a prompt "no" on the confirmation roll-call, Democrats announced that he was just another right-wing kook, but that they didn't feel like voting just yet.  When he dismissed his principles and vowed to forever vote the way the ACLU told him to, they'd confirm him; until then, he'd best forget it.  They were so worried that a young, Hispanic, pro-lifer would end up with power, that they ignored their duty as United States Senators. 

By voting against the cloture motions on these nominees, Democrats have effectively shown their colleagues in the Senate, and their constituents, that they have no intention of considering anyone -- no matter how capable he may be -- for any position, as long as he holds different beliefs than they do.  That is fundamentally wrong, and certainly not what they were elected to do.

"Because the presidential election was so divisive and close," Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) wrote in a letter I received recently, "the ultimate winner had to know that, in order to heal our very divided nation, he would need to select moderate nominees for important positions in his cabinet and the federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court."  That is sheer partisan balderdash, and Babs knows it.

Voters elected a Republican President, a Republican House, and a Republican Senate -- our nation is certainly not "divided."  Furthermore, even if we were a "divided nation," as she claims, discriminating against conservative judicial nominees surely wouldn't unite us. Secondly, it is highly curious that she believes that "moderate" jurists somehow have a superior ability to interpret law, than do jurists on the political right. 

Not the political left, mind you, just the right.

The issue, in short, is not what Democrats are portraying it to be.  If, in their view, the nominees on which they have thus far failed to vote are not qualified to sit on the benches for which they have been nominated, they ought to vote against them.  As United States Senators that's their responsibility.  The quality of these judges is not the issue.  It never has been, and it never will be.  They don't care about quality.  The issue is their refusal to vote.

Isaiah Z. Sterrett, a resident of Aptos, California, is a Lifetime Member of the California Junior Scholarship Federation and a Sustaining Member of the Republican National Committee.

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