Bush To Renominate Blocked Judicial Candidates

President misses opportunity to follow through on bi-partisan pledge

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Bush “plans to renominate a controversial list of judges – some of whom may be unacceptable even to a few Republican senators.” These nominees reportedly include Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee William G. Myers III and others whom the Senate has repeatedly sent back to the President.

President Bush’s reported decision, which comes on the heels of his calls for bipartisan cooperation, suggests that President Bush will continue to promote a hard right agenda rather than seeking to move the nation forward through consensus.

“Rather than seeking out mainstream judicial nominees, President Bush is serving up the same closed-minded, extreme right-wing nominees who the Senate has rightfully refused to confirm,” said Earthjustice Senior Legislative Counsel Glenn Sugameli. “Unfortunately, President Bush apparently is excluding judicial nominations from his post-election pledge of bi-partisan cooperation with Senators, who decide whether or not to confirm lifetime federal judges. President Bush has squandered an opportunity to start over on judicial nominations in a way that would honor the Senate’s constitutional duty of advise and consent.”

“In approving more than 250 of the President’s judicial nominees, the Senate has proven that it will confirm judges who don’t have records of extreme hostility toward environmental protections and other fundamental safeguards. For President Bush to continue to send the Senate the same unacceptable nominees shows utter disregard for America’s need for fair judges who will uphold and enforce our laws without promoting their own agendas.”

The Senate blocked William Myers’s nomination because of his discredited actions as the Interior Department’s top lawyer. As the Department’s Solicitor, he unjustifiably favored mining companies and other special interests at the expense of his responsibilities to enforce the laws that protect taxpayers, tribal rights, and the environment.

Myers’ legal positions as Interior Solicitor were rejected by the Interior Department and by federal and state courts. Myers is unique among the resubmitted nominees, as reflected in the “Gang of 14” agreement that saved the filibuster. In that written agreement, seven Republican and seven Democratic senators specifically exempted Myers from having to meet the “extraordinary circumstances” standard to filibuster a nominee.

For more information on the environmental records of the resubmitted judicial nominees, visit www.judgingtheenvironment.org.

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