Bush Should Fight Harder For Judicial Nominees, Conservative Argues
(CNSNews.com) - Federal court rulings this week that declared "virtual" or computer generated child pornography legal and upheld Oregon's physician assisted suicide law, have triggered another call for the Senate to confirm more conservative judges.
Many of President Bush's judicial nominations remain bottled up in the Democrat-led Senate Judiciary Committee.
Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that virtual child pornography was legal. A day later, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones in Portland, Ore., ruled that the state's assisted suicide law would stay in place, despite the efforts of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to overturn the statute.
"The issue is whether the people or the judges will run the country and define the culture," said Thomas Jipping, who directs the judicial appointments project at Concerned Women for America.
"For many, many years, the far left has wanted to hijack the courts because that's the only way they can impose their political and cultural agenda on a country that doesn't want it. That's what this battle is all about and these recent decisions should tell the Bush administration that the president has to lead the fight for these nominees," said Jipping.
Jipping thinks the president and members of his administration have "got to strategize with the Senate, they've got to strategize with the grass roots advocacy groups and the president has to provide public, sustained leadership in order to push for the confirmation of his nominees."
The American Conservative Union accused both Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) of continuing to prevent the president's nominees from receiving a fair hearing.
"The Left's strategy is the application of a 'liberal litmus test' to the president's judicial nominees. For those nominees who fail their litmus test, the extreme left groups engage in the politics of character assassination by misstating and distorting the nominees' record. Their message is clear: 'No Conservatives Need Apply'," said ACU Chairman David Keene.
"To disregard qualified individuals, solely because they fail a litmus test established by extreme left-wing organizations, is an abhorrent abuse of power," Keene added.
Leahy, in a recent statement, said the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate have confirmed Bush's judicial nominees at a faster pace than the Senate processed Clinton nominees
"In the last nine months, we have already confirmed 40, which is more than full year totals in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000 when the Senate and committee were under Republican leadership," Leahy said. "I am proud of the way we have considered nominees fairly and expeditiously and the way we have ... [reported] ... so many qualified, non-ideological consensus nominees to the Senate.
"We also have included a number of controversial nominees in our hearings. Controversial nominations take more time and effort. The constitutional responsibility to advise and consent to the president's selection of lifetime tenured judicial nominees should not be devalued to advise and rubber stamp," Leahy said.
At his weekly Capitol Hill news conference Thursday, Daschle said the Judiciary Committee is doing a good job on the Bush nominations.
"We're going to be reporting out additional district and circuit judges again this week. So we're moving right along. I think we're actually now going to break the Bush record, the first Bush administration's record in the first year, by what we do this week. So, we will then have broken the records of Reagan, Bush, and Clinton with regard to the number of judges confirmed this year," Daschle said.
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