Thursday, September 07, 2006

Third Branch Calls On Senate Democrats To End Obstruction

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Commends Chairman Specter for Moving on President's Renominations

Washington, D.C. - The Third Branch Conference, a coalition of grasstops leaders nationwide working to improve the federal courts, today commended Chairman Arlen Specter for moving forward on the President's recently renominated circuit court picks, Terrence Boyle and Jim Haines, for the 4th Circuit, and William Myers and Randy Smith, for the unbalanced 9th Circuit.

The Senate Judiciary Committee agenda today has all of these nominees listed as Chairman Specter announced on Fox News Sunay earlier in the week.

"The Chairman deserves credit for moving these renominations without delay. But I expect that the shrill noise you hear today will be the sound of Democrat senators whining," said Manuel Miranda, Third Branch's chairman and the former nominations counsel to Majority Leader Bill Frist.

While it is in the discretion of the Chairman whether these nominees who have alraedy had hearings will have to suffer through more, under the Committee's rules, Democrats may delay nominees for one week once they are put on the Committee agenda.

"It is petty and politically moronic if Democrats obtruct these nominees' votes. But that has not stopped them before," Miranda said.

Miranda called on Democrats to let these nominees get their Committee vote and to respect the Constitution by letting them go to a floor vote.

One nominee is.Jim Haines, the general counsel of the Department of Defense. A few weeks ago, the American Spectator's editor Quin Hillyer described the obstruction against him this way.

So what we have here is a nominee being held up because of a memo that he not only did not write but also did not adopt without significant modification, and being blamed for "torture" in a place to which the memo did not even apply, against the rules the nominee approved, carried out by people completely unaware of the memo, which memo itself did not, repeat not, express an approval of torture.

"If Democrats obstruct him, they will feed the GOP's message on Democrats making Americans less safe," warned Miranda.

Meanwhile, Judge Terrence Boyle is presently the longest waiting judicial nominee in history, nominated in May 2001. He sat on the Senate floor for over one year, Myers has been voted out of Committee twice already and has waited for over a year on the Senate floor calendar.

"Today George Bush's confirmation rate for circuit judges is the lowest of any president. But if Democrats continue the obstruction, the vote that matters is the one in November when the people decide," said Miranda.



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