Senate Republican Leadership Returns to Confrontation on Judicial Nominations

Vote on Saad would override objections by home state Senators


Glenn Sugameli, Earthjustice, 202-667-4500 x 221


Cat Lazaroff, Earthjustice, 202-667-4500 x 213

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) stated today that he plans to overrule objections from both home-state Senators and force a vote on the nomination of Henry Saad to a lifetime seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit decides the fate of environmental and other safeguards in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Hatch’s statement comes despite a recent Senate Democratic agreement to confirm 25 of President Bush’s judicial nominations by the end of this month.

“Unfortunately, President Bush and the Senate Republican leadership could not wait for the ink to dry on this historic agreement to return to the failed politics of confrontation in selecting the lifetime members of our third branch of government — our independent judiciary,” said Earthjustice Senior Legislative Counsel Glenn Sugameli. “We urge President Bush and Senator Hatch to reconsider and to build on the recent agreement in a way that respects the Senate’s constitutional advice-and-consent role.”

In July 2003, a broad coalition of conservation, civil rights, women’s rights and other groups, including Earthjustice, issued a statement declaring that, “A bipartisan commission similar to the one that already exists in Wisconsin is the only way to amicably and fairly resolve the current differences between the White House and Michigan’s Senators.”

“This is still the best solution to resolve this issue,” said Sugameli, who heads Earthjustice’s Judging the Environment project, which reviews federal judicial nominations on behalf of the environmental community.

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