Senate Votes Against Three of Bush’s Pro-Life Judicial Nominees

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 14, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Votes Against Three of Bush’s Pro-Life Judicial Nominees

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 14, 2003

Washington, DC ( — After the end of a nearly 40-hour marathon debate, pro-abortion lawmakers did what they promised to do, voting against ending debate on three of President Bush’s pro-life appeals court nominees.

That boosted the list of pro-life nominees blocked by Democratic filibusters to six.

With 60 votes needed, Texas judge Priscilla Owen, nominated for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, fell short, 53-42. Two other nominees — California judges Carolyn B. Kuhl for the 9th Circuit and Janice Rogers Brown for the District of Columbia Circuit — lost by identical 53-43 votes.

Pro-life Democratic senators Zell Miller of Georgia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska joined all 51 Republicans in voting for cloture.

Sen. Rick Santorum, a pro-life Pennsylvania senator criticized the Democrats for placing a 60-vote barrier in the way of approving judges for the appeals court. He promised Republicans would remember the votes and Democrats would have a tough time approving judges should they win the presidency.

"Let me assure you, we are not just eliminating those on the right. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander," he said. "We’ll have our opportunity someday, and we’ll make sure there’s not another liberal judge. Ever!"

It was the first such vote for Kuhl and Brown. The other judicial candidates to lose filibuster votes include Mississippi judge Charles Pickering, Alabama Attorney General William Pryor and Hispanic lawyer Miguel Estrada.

The debate was the longest in the Senate in 15 years.