Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) broke rank yesterday with key Senate Democrats, lending his support for the nomination of Bush’s right-wing DC Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Miguel Estrada. Despite the loss, Senate Democrats are standing firm against Bush’s court-packing strategy; the chamber is embroiled in a third week of political stalemate.
Feminist and progressive groups throughout the country, including the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary, the US Hispanic Leadership Institute, and the United Farm Workers of America, are pledging continued persistence in opposing Estrada, who adamantly refuses to answer questions about his views. Last weekend, the White House, arguing that opposition to Estrada could cost Democrats Latino votes, urged Democrats to end the gridlock. However, Latina feminist activist Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, countered in the Oregonian, “I for one am not too proud of a man who is unconcerned about the discrimination that many Latinos live with every day. I am not especially proud of a man whose political friends–the ones fighting hardest to put him on the court–are also fighting to abolish affirmative action and to make it harder if not impossible for federal courts to protect the rights and safety of workers and women and anyone with little power and only the hope of the courts to protest their legal rights.” Meanwhile, the administration has not budged on releasing Estrada’s Justice Department memos.
The Feminist Majority joins the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights in announcing a National Call-in Day, urging senators to oppose the Bush court-packing scheme and oppose Miguel Estrada as well as Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Jeffrey Sutton.
TAKE ACTION National Call-in Day, Thursday, Feb. 27