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Estrada deserves fairness, not a filibuster
San Diego Union-Tribune ^ | Feb. 28, 03 | Harold Johnson

Posted on 02/28/2003 2:07:33 PM PST by laureldrive

San Diego Union-Tribune February 28, 2003

Estrada deserves fairness,not a filibuster

by Harold Johnson *

'There's no reason to mince around this, we're not going to allow an up or down vote on Miguel Estrada." With that defiant flourish, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid assumed point-man role in the Senate Democrats' scheme to filibuster a presidential nominee for a federal circuit court judgeship. If Reid has his way, Harvard Law magna cum laude grad Miguel Estrada – an immigrant who has overcome many obstacles in his life – will have to overcome yet another: He'll need to win the votes of 60 of the 100 senators, a supermajority, in order to be confirmed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Denying Estrada a traditional vote is undemocratic, unprecedented and unfair. Back when the filibuster was used by the likes of Strom Thurmond to bottle up civil rights legislation in order to keep African-Americans down, the hue and cry was loud and justified. Now, Reid and cronies are using the filibuster to keep a talented Hispanic attorney in his place – apparently because they think he might be too conservative for their liking. I'm half expecting to see the Sen. Foghorn Leghorn cartoon character joining them to bluster away at the podium as they try to drown the Estrada nomination in an unending river of rhetoric.

This is no ordinary nominee, and no ordinary judgeship. Miguel Estrada is an inspiration for young people with dreams, from any background – but particularly for newcomers to America and members of ethnic minority groups. Dedication and hard work brought him success, and his example points the way for others.

A native of Honduras who immigrated to the United States at age 15, he graduated with high honors from Columbia College before going on to Harvard, where he was a law-review editor. He clerked on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, and for Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

For five years in the 1990s he was an assistant to the U.S. solicitor general. Because this was in the Clinton administration Justice Department – and because his supervisors gave him rave job evaluations – it is hard to figure why Reid and company are so hostile to him. True, some hard-left lobbying groups have Estrada in their crosshairs, but why should senators bow to those zealots? No one has offered any evidence that Estrada is anything other than a sober-minded, by-the-book man of the law.

For anyone who cares how federal regulations are enforced, or federal lands governed, the makeup of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is important. Located in Washington, D.C., it handles appeals in cases involving federal bureaucratic management, everything from Endangered Species Act enforcement to federal protections for the disabled. This is a court that needs top-grade legal minds such as Miguel Estrada's.

If a potential client said he'd only hire me as his attorney if I showed him some memos I'd produced for someone else in another case, I'd have to say, "sorry, those are privileged." Yet this is precisely what the get-Estrada crowd are demanding of him. They want to see confidential memos that he prepared for a previous employer – the Justice Department. Because he can't turn them over, the Estrada-bashers exult, "aha – got you!" They've manufactured a neat, crafty excuse to deny him an up-or-down vote, "no reason to mince around this," in Reid's words.

There's a wee bit of irony in all this. Under what you might call "Reid's rules," a simple majority vote isn't enough for a judicial candidate whom Reid – or left-wing activists – don't like. But by that calculus, Harry Reid himself wouldn't be in the Senate today. In his 1998 Senate election, he didn't get even 50 percent of the vote. He "triumphed" by a mere 428 ballots out of approximately 415,000 cast. You might think this particular senator would be somewhat embarrassed to suspend normal democratic procedures for a judicial nomination. You might think "Landslide Harry" would be the last senator to insist that a distinguished Hispanic attorney needs a supermajority – 60 percent of the vote – in order to take the seat to which President Bush has nominated him.

* Johnson is an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento, a firm dedicated to limited government. He can be reached via e-mail at hej@pacificlegal.org.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: estrada; estradafilibuster

1 posted on 02/28/2003 2:07:33 PM PST by laureldrive
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To: laureldrive
bttt
2 posted on 02/28/2003 2:28:13 PM PST by ez ("Stable and free nations do not breed ... ideologies of murder. "- GWB)
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To: laureldrive; swheats; JudyB1938; All
Please ping NV Freepers to call 'Landslide Harry' and tell him to LET THE SENATE VOTE!

202-224-3542


I called his office yesterday!
3 posted on 02/28/2003 2:32:09 PM PST by JulieRNR21 (Take W-04........Across America!)
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To: laureldrive
Great editorial. Foghorn Leghorn was a nice touch, especially following Al Sharpton's accusations that the DLC is made up of today's "Dixiecrats." Democrats should grow up and learn to judge a person by the content of their character. What are they teaching in today's schools? This is basic stuff.
4 posted on 02/28/2003 2:34:41 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("This nomination in no way deserves a filibuster." - Washington Post re. Miguel Estrada)
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To: laureldrive
Now, Reid and cronies are using the filibuster to keep a talented Hispanic attorney in his place...

I guess what we need is a graphic of three water fountains inside the Senate building: one says "Republicans," one says "Democrats," and one says "Hispanics."

-PJ

5 posted on 02/28/2003 2:45:41 PM PST by Political Junkie Too
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To: Political Junkie Too
Spanish needs to become the second official language of the country, fully the equal of English. All laws and official documents should be available in Spanish; citizens should have the right to request either language in legal proceedings, contracts, road signs, you name it.

Democrapts are this country's home-grown fasicsts. One of their weaknesses and sins is an unwillingness to acknowledge the value of other cultures and languages, notably Spanish.

Let the fun begin. En garde, crappicrats.

6 posted on 02/28/2003 3:22:03 PM PST by Tax Government
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To: JulieRNR21; Diago; Notwithstanding; ninenot; ventana; maryz; american colleen; eastsider; ...
202-224-3542

Even those of us outside of Nevada should call Harry Reid and demand he stop his racist filibuster. Let them hear the word "racist" a thousand million times until they tremble in fear.

7 posted on 02/28/2003 6:01:06 PM PST by Siobhan (+Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet+)
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To: JulieRNR21
Will do and I sent my letter to the Editor of the RJ.
8 posted on 02/28/2003 6:15:11 PM PST by swheats
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To: Siobhan
Let Harry know his behavior is DESPICABLE.
9 posted on 02/28/2003 6:16:00 PM PST by swheats
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To: swheats
His behavior is DESPICABLE. He is an insult to the Constitution and every decent citizen in this great Republic.
10 posted on 02/28/2003 6:20:58 PM PST by Siobhan (+Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet+)
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To: laureldrive
Harry Reid himself wouldn't be in the Senate today.

Good article. Harry Reid shouldn't be in the Senate next time around, either. People who live in his state should let him know this.

11 posted on 02/28/2003 6:24:02 PM PST by livius
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To: Siobhan
Perhaps even more importantly, we should contact our own Senators, especially those in the GOP, and tell them to stand strong and not let up until Estrada is confirmed, no matter how long it takes.
12 posted on 02/28/2003 7:04:06 PM PST by Republican Wildcat
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To: Siobhan
BUMPing your comments in #7!
13 posted on 02/28/2003 7:04:13 PM PST by JulieRNR21 (Take W-04........Across America!)
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To: Republican Wildcat
Agree that we should call both GOP & Dems!
14 posted on 02/28/2003 7:05:10 PM PST by JulieRNR21 (Take W-04........Across America!)
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To: Republican Wildcat
We should do that too.
15 posted on 02/28/2003 7:07:20 PM PST by Siobhan (+Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet+)
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To: laureldrive
http://www.NRSC.org

DEFEAT THEM!!!
16 posted on 02/28/2003 7:27:26 PM PST by Capitalism2003
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To: Republican Wildcat; Siobhan
**Perhaps even more importantly, we should contact our own Senators, especially those in the GOP, and tell them to stand strong and not let up until Estrada is confirmed, no matter how long it takes.**

Contact your Senator

17 posted on 02/28/2003 8:38:17 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Siobhan
Harry Reid, by certain remarks made is a fine example of ENVY. For example, have you listened the way he speaks of Estrada; stating that Miguel doesn't need this promotion for he is now employed by a prestigious law firm and is making 'millions'...therefore he begrudges Estrada of this promotion. Is this the type of LEGISLATORS we have occuping the hallowed halls of Congress???How sad that ENVY has become a trait that is held in high esteem by certain members.
18 posted on 02/28/2003 9:03:27 PM PST by ejo
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To: Siobhan
Even those of us outside of Nevada should call Harry Reid and demand he stop his racist filibuster.

Siobhan, before you get so excited about supporting Estrada, maybe you should consider some information:

"Estrada served four years under Bill Clinton and argued many cases on behalf of the federal government. He places the facts of the case above his own political ideology. In Now v. Scheidler, he filed a brief before the Supreme Court on behalf of the National Organization for Women against a coalition of anti-abortion groups. He argued that anti-abortion protesters were in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Miguel Estrada, nominee to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
19 posted on 02/28/2003 9:40:24 PM PST by Maximilian
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To: Tax Government
Spanish needs to become the second official language of the country, fully the equal of English. All laws and official documents should be available in Spanish; citizens should have the right to request either language in legal proceedings, contracts, road signs, you name it.

I just woke up to give my daughter some cough medicine and couldn't help but read up some.

I'm too tired to check if I missed this in the article or if it was sarcasm, but I can hardly agree with it.

You'll hardly find someone who is more appreciative of the gifts bestowed upon us by our Latino neighbors, but I truly hang on to the concept of one nation, one people and one language they are united in.

The sledgehammer of "diversity" has only been used to drive our people part as Americans, not help them unite. The melting pot concept for this nation doesn't work unless those who come here are not willing to acclimate to our culture. Sure, that involves maintianing their old traditions and cultural heritage, but they need to be Americans first.

It may take a generation or so, it usually does, but they need to acclimate. We should not be permissive to those who would enable further division among our people. I am more than happy to culturally and socially segregate those we cannnot "assimilate". It weakens us as people, as Americans, to be divided by language.

Now I can speak three dialects of Portuguese and a fair amount of Spanish. Love it. My children are part Hispanic but all American. They'll be raised loving both cultures, but not a chance they'll ever entertain that Americans speak any other language than English. Spanish is simply a family and "hot babe" sort of thing.

20 posted on 02/28/2003 10:04:45 PM PST by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: Siobhan
I am proud the GOP is sticking with their guns on this one. The 'RATS look smaller every day ...
21 posted on 03/01/2003 9:15:16 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Saddam! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: Maximilian
Eek.
22 posted on 03/01/2003 9:22:02 AM PST by Siobhan
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To: Siobhan
bttt
23 posted on 04/25/2003 11:05:50 AM PDT by votelife (FREE MIGUEL ESTRADA!)
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To: laureldrive
My email to W:

Dear President Bush, With the Surpeme Court session getting ready to close, it may well be time for perhaps the most important domestic decision of your presidency: the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice(s). The main reason why I supported you in 2000 and why I wanted Daschle out of power in 02 (and 04) has to do with the courts. I want America courts to interpret law, not write law. During your presidential campaign you said Thomas and Scalia were your two model justices. Those are excellent models. The High Court needs more like them. Clarence Thomas recently said to students that the tough cases were when what he wanted to do was different from what the law said. And he goes by the law. This should be a model philosophy for our justices. Your father, President Bush lost his reelection campaign for 3 main reasosn, as far as I can see. 1. he broke the no new taxes pledge 2. David Souter 3. Clinton convinced people we were in a Bush recession (which we had already come out of by the time Clinton was getting sworn in)

I urge you to learn from all three of these: 1. on taxes, you're doing great. Awesome job on the tax cut. 2. good job so far on judicial appointments. I want to see more of a fight for Estrada, Owen, and Pickering, but I commend you on your nominations. 3. by staying engaged in the economic debate you'll serve yourself well

I have been thoroughly impressed with your handling of al Queida, Iraq, and terrorism. You have inspired confidence and have shown great leadership.

But I want to remind you that your Supreme Court pick(s) will be with us LONG after you have departed office. I urge you to avoid the tempation to find a "compromise" pick. Go for a Scalia or Thomas. Don't go for an O'Connor or Kennedy. To be specific, get someone who is pro-life. Roe v Wade is one of the worst court decisions I know of, and it's the perfect example of unrestrained judicial power.

I know the temptation will be tremendous on you to nominate a moderate. But remember who your true supporters are. I am not a important leader or politician. I am "simply" a citizen who has been an enthusiatic supporter of you. I am willing to accept compromise in many areas of government but I will watch your Court nomiantions extremely closely. What the Senate Dems are doing right now is disgusting, but as the President you have the bully pulpit to stop it. Democrats will back down if you turn up serious heat on them.

Moreover, I think public opinion is shifting towards the pro-life position. Dems will want you to nominate a moderate, but almost all will vote against you anyways. Pro-choice Repubs will likely still vote for you if you nominate a Scalia, after all, you campaigned on it. So Mr. President, I urge you to stick with your campaign statements and nominate justices who believe in judicial restraint, like Scalia and Thomas.

Happy Memorial Day and may God bless you and your family.


24 posted on 05/27/2003 2:33:06 PM PDT by votelife (FREE MIGUEL ESTRADA!)
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To: laureldrive
Why Frist and all won't go 24/7 (Vanity)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/958139/posts?page=1


25 posted on 08/05/2003 4:20:16 PM PDT by votelife (Free Bill Pryor)
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