President Bush Renominates Pro-Life Judges, Senate Abortion Battle Begins

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 15, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Renominates Pro-Life Judges, Senate Abortion Battle Begins Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 15, 2005

Washington, DC ( — On Monday, President Bush nominated about twenty pro-life judges he wants on federal appeals and district courts. Some of the names include those who were the victims of filibusters by abortion advocates in the Senate.

“To maintain confidence in the legal system, we must ensure that judges faithfully interpret the law, not legislate from the bench," Bush said.

“Every judicial nominee deserves a prompt hearing and an up-or-down vote on the floor of the United States Senate," President Bush added.

The judicial announcement sets up another abortion battle in the Senate and leading pro-abortion senators say they will use filibusters against some of the nominees they consider too extreme.

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts claimed the president is more interested in picking fights than picking judges" and Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said Bush has again chosen "confrontation over cooperation" and "ideology over moderation."

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader said it was inappropriate for the president to "divert attention from other pressing issues facing this nation to re-debate the merits of nominees already found too extreme by this chamber."

Republican leaders in the Senate are considering options on how to overcome filibusters, since they do not have the 60 votes necessary to stop them. Republicans control 55 seats in the Senate chamber and have the support of pro-life Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

One idea would allow Republicans to change Senate rules on a majority vote to disallow filibusters on judicial nominees. Another one would change Senate rules to gradually reduce the number of votes needed to cut off debate until only a majority vote was needed.

Senate Democrats have threatened to hold up passage of legislation in the Senate if they use either option.

Judiciary Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter, a pro-abortion Republican who committed to supporting Bush’s nominees to get the chairmanship, says he thinks it would be best to try defeating filibusters on the least controversial nominees before looking into rules changes.

Some of the nominees Bush sent to the Senate Monday include Terrence W. Boyle, a U.S. District Court judge in North Carolina and nominee for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals; pro-life Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, a nominee for the 5th Circuit; pro-life California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, nominated to a seat on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; and William J. Haynes II, who served as Pentagon general counsel. He was again nominated for the 4th Circuit.

ACTION: Contact your senators and urge support for President Bush’s judicial picks. You can find contact information for any senator at