Conservative leaders, including CFJ Executive Director Curt Levey, delivered a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today, urging him “in the strongest possible terms not to use the ‘lame duck’ session to force votes on the confirmation of any nominees for federal office.”
The letter emphasizes that many of the nominees that might be confirmed during the lame duck session “are still before the Senate precisely because of concerns about their radical and controversial views.” A Senate that “has already been replaced by the American people has no business confirming such controversial nominees to federal office,” the letter adds.
Commenting on the letter, Mr. Levey noted that “On November 2, the American people rejected the liberal agenda that has been pushed by the Obama Administration and its most controversial pending nominees. If Senate Democrats try to confirm these controversial nominees during the lame duck session, they will be showing contempt for American voters.”
In the letter, Levey and the other conservative leaders call attention to the 16 “most egregious” pending judicial and executive branch nominees. The list includes two appeals court nominees (Goodwin Liu and Robert Chatigny), three district court nominees (John McConnell, Edward Chen and Louis Butler), as well as nominees to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Chai Feldlbum and Jacqueline Berrien) and the National Labor Relations Board (Craig Becker). Also on the list are John Podesta, nominated to the Corporation for National & Community Service; James Cole, the Deputy Attorney General nominee; and Donald Berwick, who was recess appointed to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The full text of the letter is below, including the list of signers and the list of the 16 most controversial nominees.
November 15, 2010
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 RE: No Lame Duck Confirmations
Dear Majority Leader Reid:
Now that we are past the Congressional elections, we urge you in the strongest possible terms not to use the “lame duck” session to force votes on the confirmation of any nominees for federal office.
Any “lame-duck” confirmations would be a gross abuse of Congressional authority in a last gasp attempt to perpetuate an agenda that the American people have already rejected. This would further undermine the American people’s confidence in Congress and the democratic nature of our government.
In addition, many of the nominees that could feasibly be confirmed in this way are still before the Senate precisely because of concerns about their radical and controversial views. The Senate has already had months to question and confirm these nominees. A Senate that has not been able to decide about these nominees, and has already been replaced by the American people, has no business confirming such controversial nominees to federal office. A list of the most egregious pending nominees is attached.
Americans for Limited Government
Sr. Vice President
Family Research Council Action
The Committee for Justice
David A. Keene
American Conservative Union
Concerned Women for America
Traditional Values Coalition
Kay R. Daly
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
CC: The Honorable Mitch McConnell Most egregious nominees:
Maria del Carmen Aponte, Ambassador to the Republic of El Salvador
Craig Becker, Board Member, National Labor Relations Board
Jacqueline Berrien, Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Donald Berwick, Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services
Louis B. Butler, Jr., U.S. District Judge for the District of Wisconsin
Robert N. Chatigny, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Edward Milton Chen, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California
James Michael Cole, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice
Chai Feldlbum, Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Goodwin Liu, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
John J. McConnell, Jr., U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Rhode Island
Thomas R. Nides, Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources, Department of State
John D. Podesta, Board of Directors, Corporation for National and Community Service
Jo Ann Rooney, Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness, Department of Defense
Paul Tiao, Inspector General, Department of Labor
Solomon B. Watson IV, General Counsel of the Army, Department of Defense