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President Speaks Out On Estrada
The White House
March 6, 2003 4:57PM EST


                         Office of the Press Secretary
March 6, 2003

                           STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Miguel Estrada is a well-qualified nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals who has
been waiting nearly two years for an up or down vote in the United States
Senate.  The decision today by 44 Senators to continue to filibuster and block a
vote on this nomination is a disgrace.

The Senate has a responsibility to exercise its constitutional advice and
consent function and hold an up or down vote on a judicial nominee within a
reasonable time.  Some Senators who once insisted that every appeals court
nominee deserves a timely vote have now abandoned that principle for partisan
politics.  Their tactics are an injustice and unfair to the good man I have
nominated, and unfaithful to the Senate's own obligations.

These Senators are holding Miguel Estrada to a double standard.  I will stand by
Miguel Estrada's side until he is sworn in as a judge.  I call on the Senate
Democratic leadership to stop playing politics, and permit a vote on Miguel
Estrada's nomination.  Let each Senator vote as he or she thinks best, but give
the man a vote.


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