New Press Release from the Third Branch Conference
August 3, 2006
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Call Manuel Miranda
THE LEAST ACCOMPLISHED CONGRESS ON JUDGES
Washington, D.C. - The Third Branch Conference, a coalition of grasstop leaders nationwide working to improve the federal courts, today expressed disappointment with the Senate GOP leadership for failing to move the confirmations of Terrence Boyle, William Myers, and Jim Haynes.
"On judges, this is the least accomplished Congress in three decades," said Manuel Miranda, TBC chairman and former nominations counsel to Majority Leader Bill Frist. "The delays on Boyle, Myers, and Haynes are unprincipled and hamfisted. They are putting their majority at risk by not showing Bush voters what remains at stake," he added.
"We will now take this message to the radio through August," Miranda announced. "The problem lies with the Senate, not the White House."
Today with 50 confirmations, the 109th Congress has confirmed the fewest judges than any Congress since 1973-1974, in the shadow of the Watergate presidency. The last time the Senate confirmed two Supreme Court nominations (1993-1994, 103rd), they also confirmed 127 other Clinton-appointed judges. The last time that a Congress (1985-1986, 99th) confirmed two Supreme Court justices in the first two years of a second term president, with the same party controlling the WH and the Senate, they also confirmed 129 other Reagan-appointed judges.
According to John Lott of AEI, the President's circuit court confirmation rate remains the lowest of any president in recent times. Today it is 73.1 %. By comparison Reagan's was 89.4%, also with two years of an opposing party controlling the Senate. The length of confirmation delays is even more telling. Under the GOP's current leadership, the length of confirmation delays in days is:
Bush II 382
Bush I 92
This year three Bush circuit nominees have been waiting in the Senate for years under silent, dishonest filibusters, one other had to withdraw in March because of Senate inaction, bringing the number of actively defeated Bush circuit nominations to three (and arguably more). So three defeats (Estrada, Kuhl and Saad), and three silent filibusters (Boyle, Myers, and Haynes).