What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : Judicial Nominations : Estrada Nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia/Vote on Cloture. (2003 senate Roll Call 53)
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Estrada Nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia/Vote on Cloture.
senate Roll Call 53     Mar 13, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

The constitution provides that the Senate must approve presidential nominees to the federal courts. Miguel Estrada was a Bush nominee to the powerful D.C. Court of Appeals, and it was widely understood that he held many conservative legal views. Senate Democrats complained, however, that they had no chance to review Estrada's opinions because he had never previously served as a judge and he provided only vague answers to questions from Senators on the Judiciary Committee. The Democrats' only opportunity was to examine legal memos Estrada wrote while working for the White House. But the administration refused to hand these memos over to the Senate. In the Senate, debate continues until at least 60 Senators vote for "cloture," which limits debate and schedules a time for a final vote. Rather than vote on a nominee they felt they knew little about, Democrats-including Progressives, who objected to the strong-arm Republican tactics-voted "no" on this cloture motion every time it was raised. The cloture vote at issue here was no different: it fell five votes short of the 60 needed, 55-42. Republicans could not bring the nomination to a vote, so the process was stalled.

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