Former Prosecutor Calls on Conferees to Lobby Senate on Judicial Nominees
July 7, 2008
Arlington, Va. (CNSNews.com) - Former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova urged attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday to start lobbying their senators on behalf of judicial appointees whose nominations are stalled in the Senate.
"The president of the United States has nominated judges," diGenova said. "The Democratically-controlled Senate will not confirm them."
He charged that Democrats are holding up nominations for political gain.
"They want another election," diGenova said of the Democrats.
"They think they can get a president in who will not nominate the kind of people that we want to nominate, people who believe in judicial restraint, strict instruction of the Constitution, rational analysis of facts and law, not people who create law, not people who ignore legislative action, [but] people who follow them," he added.
The former prosecutor called on the conferees to lobby their senators with letters and phone calls, "and don't take form letters for an answer."
"The greatest thing that you can do is raise your voice in protest about this obstructionism in the Senate over judicial nominees," he said. "We have to help the president. The president has his hands full. He's running a war and he's seriously engaged in running this country."
More than 90 percent of President Bush's pending judicial nominations are held up by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is headed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), reported Thomas Jipping, director of the Center for Law and Democracy with the Free Congress Foundation.
Not counting 24 nominations made last week, 33 nominees are sitting in the Judiciary Committee and just eight have received a hearing, Jipping said in a recent column.
"In fact, only three of the first 11 nominees President Bush sent the Senate last May have even had a hearing," he said.
Both liberal and conservative activists have launched new offensives to heighten political pressure on the Senate's confirmation process of judicial nominees.
The National Organization of Women recently alerted its members to the possibility that President Bush could attempt to fill a new position on the U.S. Supreme Court "with someone from his stable of right-wing judicial ideologues."
"Considering that two out of three Supreme Court decisions in the last term were decided by 5 - 4 votes, all of our fundamental rights - reproductive rights, civil rights, lesbian rights, disability rights and so many other gains feminists have fought for in the past 35 years - could be at risk with the addition of just one new ultra-conservative Supreme Court justice," the group said on its website.
In an address to the Senate Friday, Leahy promised "steadiness in the hearings process" and "regular hearings" on judges at a pace faster than the Senate has managed in recent years.
E-mail a news tip to Lawrence Morahan.
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(Editor's note: This is one of a series of articles on the CPAC gathering.)
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