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National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters
Senator Lindsey Graham
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
June 6, 2006
Re: The Nomination of Jim Haynes
Dear Senator Graham:
We represent a coalition of organizations that cares deeply about putting constitutionalist judges on the federal courts. We are writing to express our concern about your lack of support for the nomination of William "Jim" Haynes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, effectively blocking him in committee.
With the recent resignation of Judge J. Michael Luttig, and Terrence Boyle’s seemingly endless confirmation delay – also, rumor has it, with Republican acquiescence – the Fourth Circuit needs principled constitutionalists more than ever. In addition, Judge Widener has notified the President he will retire upon his replacement's confirmation. So, the Haynes nomination affects the lives of two public servants.
But our concerns go beyond the Fourth Circuit. In particular, we believe your opposition to Mr. Haynes in the Judiciary Committee is damaging to the principle that judicial nominees with majority support are entitled to an up or down vote on the Senate floor, and blurs the line between the GOP’s treatment of nominees and the Democrats’ minority-obstructionist tactics. Some have even suggested your non-hold/hold amounts to a "silent filibuster" of Jim Haynes.
Despite the American Bar Association twice giving Haynes its highest rating, his nomination has languished in the Senate for nearly three years. Having already been approved by the Judiciary Committee in 2004, his re-approval should be little more than a formality. Instead, your objection to him has prevented even a vote in committee.
In fact, Brett Kavanaugh's recent confirmation amounts to the only strong constitutionalist confirmed to an appellate court since the confirmations immediately following the Gang of Fourteen deal more than a year ago. This is an odd result, given an enhanced Senate Republican majority.
We understand that you and Senator McCain have concerns about the Bush Administration’s policies on prisoners captured in the War on Terror, and about Mr. Haynes’s role in implementing those policies at the Defense Department. However, Jim Haynes has had the obligation to defend the legal rights of his client, the Defense Department, and to follow the legal advice of the Justice Department.
Jim Haynes did a difficult job at a difficult time and deserves our nation’s thanks for his service. Instead, he has faced years of delay, denigration, and stealth tactics that deny him even the courtesy of understanding the reasons for delay.
As a former Air Force lawyer, you know how misleading it can be to conflate U.S. military and legal policy with the personal opinions and preferences of the attorneys implementing those policies. Such tactics have been used in past by Senate Democrats and their allies to smear President Bush’s nominees, a practice you have rightly criticized. Policy disputes with the administration should not carry over to the Senate's consideration of qualified judicial nominees.
We have fought hard to establish the principle that judicial nominees with majority Senate support are entitled to an up or down vote. While we respect your concerns about Jim Haynes, the bases for those concerns simply do not warrant throwing aside such an important principle.
By all reports, your withholding of support for Haynes is all that stands between him and passage out of the Judiciary Committee. If you wish to send the Bush Administration a message on Jim Haynes, that is your right, but we ask you do so by voting against the nominee on the Senate floor.
For now, we ask that you allow him to proceed through committee to an up or down vote before the entire Senate.
Paul Weyrich, Coalitions for America
Carl Herbster, AdvanceUSA
Donald E. Wildmon, American Family Association
David Keene, American Conservative Union
Bill Donohue, Catholic League
Richard A. Viguerie, ConservativeHQ.com
Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
L. Brent Bozell III, Conservative Victory Committee
James J. Fotis, Law Enforcement Alliance of America
Connie Mackey, FRC Action
Tom McClusky, Family Research Council
Jan Larue, Concerned Women for America
Rev. William Owens, Coalition of African American Pastors
Rick Scarborough, Vision America Action
James L. Martin, 60 Plus Association
Mathew D. Staver, Liberty Counsel and Liberty University School of Law
George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom
Dr. James H. Broussard, Citizens Against Higher Taxes
Sean Rushton, Committee for Justice
Kay Daly, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
Manuel Miranda, Third Branch Conference
Wendy Long, Judicial Confirmation Network
Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch
Jeffrey Mazzella, Center for Individual Freedom
Michael Krempasky, ConfirmThem.com
Phillip L. Jauregui, Judicial Action Group
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Caucus For America and host of "Talking Sense".
Andrea Lafferty, Traditional Values Coalition
Raymond J. Tittmann, Catholics for the Common Good
Austin Ruse, Culture of Life Foundation
Joe Cella, FIDELIS
Colin A. Hanna, Let Freedom Ring, Inc.
Amy Ridenour, Americans for the Preservation of Liberty
Kenneth Boehm, National Legal and Policy Center
Larry Cirignano, CatholicVote.org
Jeffrey H. Ballabon, Center for Jewish Values
Steven Mosher, Population Research Institute
Jim Boulet, Jr., English First
Mark Williamson, Foundation Restoration Ministries / Federal Intercessors
C. Preston Noell III, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
William Greene, RightMarch.com
Thomas A. Glessner, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA)
Chuck Muth, Citizen Outreach
Dr. Patricia McEwen, Life Coalition International
Mychal Massie, Project 21
Jonathon Moseley, Esq., Legal Affairs Council
Tracy E. Ammons, Christian Citizens of America
Jason Wright, Institute for Liberty
Maurine Proctor, Family Leader Network
Gary Palmer, Alabama Policy Institute
Dr. Randy Brinson, Redeem the Vote
John Stemberger, Florida Family Policy Council
Michael N. Duff, United Families of Idaho
Peter LaBarbera, Illinois Family Institute
Micah Clark, American Family Association of Indiana
Dr. Don Racheter, Public Interest Institute (IA)
David Crowe, Restore America (OR)
Kent Ostrander, The Family Foundation (KY)
Gene Mills, Louisiana Family Forum
Judge Darrell White (Retired), Louisiana Family Forum Action
Douglas P. Stiegler, Association of Maryland Families
Mike Franco, Western Massachusetts Republicans
Kristian M. Mineau, Massachusetts Family Institute
Saulius "Saul" Anuzis, Michigan Republican Party
Karen Testerman, Cornerstone Policy Research (NH)
Len Deo, New Jersey Family Policy Council
Rev. Russell Johnson, Ohio Restoration Project
Diane Gramley, American Family Association of Pennsylvania
Robert R. Galbreath Jr., Citizens for a Constitutional Republic
Christopher Carmouche, GrassTopsUSA
Robert Regier, South Dakota Family Policy Council
Kelly Shackelford, Liberty Legal Institute (TX)
Ted Brown, Young Republican Federation of Virginia
Dr. Ken Hutcherson, Antioch Bible Church, Redmond, WA
Julaine K. Appling, The Family Institutue of Wisconsin
Jeffrey Lord, author, The Borking Rebellion
Jill Stanek, (OH)
Robert McConnell (DC)
James Hochberg (HI)
John C. Eastman, Professor of Law (CA)
Lillian Bevier , University of Virginia Law School
Chris Dickson, radio host, "The Dickson/Chappell Report" (IN and OH)
Adam McManus, radio host, "Take A Stand" (TX)
Martha Zoller, Jacobs Media Corp., radio host, WDUN, (Southeast}
Tamara Scott, radio host (IA)
Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated radio host
cc: Senator First, McConnell, Santorum, Kyl, Hutchison, Dole, Stevens, Specter
Hatch, Grassley, DeWine, Sessions, Cornyn, Brownback, Coburn.