July 13, 2006

New Press Release From Third Branch Conference


Boyle Responds to Frist/Specter; Time is Now to Confirm Respected Judge

Washington, D.C. - The Third Branch Conference, a coalition of grasstops leaders nationwide working to improve the federal courts, today exhorted Senate Republican leaders to do more on judges before their lenghty August recess.

The call comes now that Judge Terrence Boyle responded to a letter sent less than two weeks ago by Senators Frist and Specter.

In the 109th Congress so far, the Senate has confirmed only 46 judges. By comparison, the 107th confirmed 100 under Democrat control, the 108th confirmed 104. In the 103rd Congress, when the Senate last confirmed two Supreme Court justices (Breyer and Ginsburg), Democratrs also confirmed 127 other Clinton judges.

"This is not apples to oranges, " said Manuel Miranda, chaiman of the Third Branch Conference. "Effort is effort. This Congress has so far taken fewer votes on judicial confirmations than any time since the first two years of the Reagan administration. It is the least accomplished Senate in 25 years. It is no wonder that the White House has trouble filling seats, with a Senate like this."

"One solid circuit court confirmation this year is not an accomplishment," said Miranda, former nominations counsel to Majority Leader Bill Frist. "The Senate must give an honest, up or down vote to Judge Terrence Boyle, William Myers and Jim Haynes just as Leader Frist has promised for all."

Boyle is presently the longest waiting judicial nominee in history nominated in May 2001 and on the Senate floor for over one year, Myers has been filibustered for two years, Haynes is nearing three years in the Senate.

"Today George Bush's confirmation rate (70%) for circuit judges is the lowest of any president. The circuit courts stands at 10% vacancy rate. And yet the Senate walks slowly," said Miranda. "Leader Frist must end the silent filibusters in the 22 days he has left, and if he is obstructed, then the vote that matters must be the one in November when the people decide."