As President Bush continues to nominate far-right candidates to fill federal judgeships, Senate Republicans are adding Miguel Estrada and Carolyn Kuhl to their list of planned votes on the Senate floor this week. A vote on right-wing nominee William Pryor is also planned before the Senate begins its summer recess next week and a vote on Priscilla Owen was held today.
With a vote of 53-43, Senate Democrats continued to hold a filibuster against Owen, President Bush’s nominee to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Owen, who was renominated despite her rejection by the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee last year for her consistently anti-women’s rights and anti-workers’ rights rulings, has been up for three cloture votes – all three have failed.
Democrats could filibuster Kuhl and Pryor as well, bringing the total number of filibusters against judicial nominees to four – compared to a total of 140 nominations approved by the Senate during Bush’s term. “Democrats have stopped two of President Bush’s nominees, Republicans stopped 60 – six zero – of President Clinton’s,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said, as reported by the Associated Press.
Kuhl, who has been nominated to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in May despite opposition from both California senators. Pryor, a far-right extremist nominated to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, is scheduled for a floor vote after being approved by a party-line vote in committee just last week.