What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : Judicial Nominations : Full Senate vote on confirming President Bush's controversial nomination of Leon Holmes to a lifetime position on the Federal court in Arkansas. (2004 senate Roll Call 153)
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Full Senate vote on confirming President Bush's controversial nomination of Leon Holmes to a lifetime position on the Federal court in Arkansas.
senate Roll Call 153     Jul 06, 2004
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

Progressives objected to President Bush's controversial nomination of Leon Holmes to a lifetime position on the Federal court in Arkansas, saying the judge's positions on abortion, gay rights and other social issues are skewed to the most extreme conservatives. So extreme, they noted, that Holmes' nomination last spring was reported out of the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee -- which vets the nomination before the full Senate - but that report was made without a positive recommendation. Rather, Judiciary Committee senators voted him out of committee "without recommendation" - an extremely rare occurrence. Speaking against Holmes' nomination, Senate Judiciary ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, "If you look at the record of this nominee, it is quite clear he has made numerous strident, intemperate, and insensitive public statements over the years regarding school desegregation, political emancipation, school prayer, voting rights, women's equal rights, gay rights, the death penalty, the Bill of Rights, and privacy, among other issues." For example, Leahy noted Holmes was on record arguing in the area of reproductive privacy law that "concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with the same frequency as snow falls in Miami." Leahy said he was also perturbed that Holmes has objected to enforcing the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case which declared that separate facilities and services for individuals based on skin color is inherently unequal. Conservative senators defended Holmes as an "intellectually profound" and "fair and decent" man who is deeply religious, but also has the ability to set aside his personal and religious views in deciding cases, they said. Moreover, Holmes has the blessing of both the American Bar Association, and the support of "of virtually everybody who counts in Arkansas -- Democrats and Republicans," said Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Holmes' nomination was approved 51-46, meaning Holmes' will take his place on the federal bench in Arkansas.

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