On to the Filibuster of Miguel Estrada

As expected, Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to end their partisan filibuster of the nomination of Priscilla Owen to the 5th Circuit. Owen, unanimously rated “well-qualified” by the American Bar Association, was defeated in the Judiciary Committee last year when the Democrats were running the Senate but was renominated by the President this year.

Today, Democrats have the opportunity to do the right thing and end their blockade of the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. But they won’t. They cannot stand the idea of a Hispanic who does not fit their model sitting on one of the most influential lower courts in the nation, the D.C. Circuit Court.

Instead, they will vote, for the seventh time this year, to continue their filibuster by rejecting the GOP’s motion to invoke cloture.

Just like yesterday, Democrats will excuse their unconstitutional behavior by claiming that they are “protecting” the judiciary and, thereby the American people, by keeping a nominee so “outside the mainstream” of public opinion off the bench.

When the ideology argument runs thin, Democrats will claim that Estrada and the White House have not been completely forthcoming with the information they want on Mr. Estrada’s writings. The problem is the information they want (memoranda from the Solicitor General’s office) are confidential.

So, then they will claim that Miguel Estrada does not have enough experience. That is easily countered by the fact that he has argued 15 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and has received the American Bar Association’s unanimous rating of “well-qualified” – the highest rating possible.

What, then, is the problem? Miguel Estrada has shown that he will never be a liberal activist judge – something upon which Democrats rely heavily when they can’t achieve their liberal agenda through legislation.

The American people know strident partisanship and demagoguery when they hear it, and they will see through the Democrats’ excuses now just as they did in the elections last November.



  • Washington Post: Filibustering Judges
  • Fox News: Estrada Faces Tough Confirmation
  • National Review: A Battle About Nothing
  • National Review: Outside the Mainstream
  • Washington Post: Not Fair Game
  • National Review: Democrats Ambush Estrada
  • George Will: Unconstitutional Filibuster
  • Free Congress Foundation: Estrada Bio and Background
  • Dept. of Justice: Miguel Estrada Biography
  • Sen. Wayne Allard (R.-Colo.): A Dangerous Double Standard
  • Sen. Conrad Burns (R.-Mont.): It’s Time for Senate Democrats to Approve Judge
  • Sen. Norm Coleman (R.-Minn): Democrat’s Filibuster Harms More Than Estrada
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.): The Constitution and the Judiciary
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.): Partisan Holdups Shouldn’t Bar Estrada Nomination
  • Sen. Larry Craig (R.-Idaho): An Unfair Game
  • Sen. Pete Domenici (R.-N.M.): Consider Estrada on Merit
  • Sen. John Ensign (R.-Nev.): Should the Senate Confirm Estrada? Yes
  • Sen. Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.): The Miguel Estrada Story
  • Sen. Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.): An Unprecedented Outrage
  • Sen. Trent Lott (R.-Miss.): Give Nominees Up/Down Vote
  • Sen. Rick Santorum (R.-Pa.): Appointment Earned on Merit
  • March 18 DoJ Letter re. Solicitor General Memos
  • White House March 5 Letter to Senator Daschle
  • White House Feb. 27 Letter
  • Letter from House of Representatives Supporting Estrada
  • White House February 24 Letter to Senator Schumer
  • White House February 12 Letter to Senators Daschle & Leahy
  • Solicitor General Letter Regarding Memoranda
  • Roll Call Vote #40 – 1st Cloture Vote on Estrada Nomination
  • Roll Call Vote #53 – 2nd Cloture Vote on Estrada Nomination
  • Roll Call Vote #56 – 3rd Cloture Vote on Estrada Nomination
  • Roll Call Vote #114 – 4th Cloture Vote on Estrada Nomination
  • Roll Call Vote #140 – 5th Cloture Vote on Estrada Nomination
  • Roll Call Vote #143 – 6th Cloture Vote on Estrada Nomination