With a vote of 66-25, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Deborah Cook to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals – despite her disturbing record on the Ohio Supreme Court. In more than 300 dissents on the Ohio court, Cook repeatedly sided with business and corporate interests over individual workers and consistently opposed enforcement of employment discrimination. Although Cook has a limited record on women’s rights and reproductive rights, she has received consistent support from the Ohio Right to Life Committee.
Despite Cook’s confirmation and the recent confirmation of Jeffrey Sutton to the Sixth Circuit, Senate Democrats continued to fight President Bush’s campaign to pack the courts with right wing judges by blocking a fifth cloture vote on the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
With a vote of 52-39, Senate Republicans failed to gather the 60 votes needed to end a three-month old filibuster on Estrada – who is widely regarded to be a right-wing ideologue. If appointed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Estrada could become the crucial swing vote on the second highest court in the land – routinely the court of last resort for federal regulations.
“This fight to defeat Miguel Estrada is a fight for every government regulation that guarantees our rights – from Title IX and equal opportunity to environmental protections, workers’ rights and health care,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “We will allow no Trojan Horse that will gut 30 years of work. We’ll fight for as long as it takes.”
Democrats have opposed Estrada because of his failure to answer questions regarding his viewpoints on any issues during hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee and because the Bush administration has refused to release documents written while Estrada worked for the Department of Justice that might show his positions.