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Senators Accused of Ethics Breach
Focus on the Family ^ | December 5, 2003 | Keith Peters, Washington, D.C., correspondent

Posted on 12/05/2003 3:54:54 PM PST by Federalist 78

Kennedy, Durbin accused of improperly intervening in the judicial nomination process.

A conservative watchdog group has filed ethics charges against two senators over the release of Democratic memos that indicate possible improprieties in the way President Bush's nominees to the federal bench have been treated.

Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., are accused by Judicial Watch of bringing the Senate into disrepute by improperly intervening in the judicial nomination process.

"Specifically, Senator Durbin opposed Miguel Estrada, a nominee of President Bush, we believe, because he was Latino, and that's evidenced by staff memos that have been uncovered," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. "Senator Kennedy delayed the hearing of a specific judge in order to interfere with an affirmative action case that was being heard concerning the University of Michigan."

The latter memo indicates Kennedy staffers made extraordinary efforts to ensure that a liberal majority sat on the federal appeals court that decided the Michigan case. They also delayed one of President Bush's nominees to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals until two conservative justices retired.

Fitton said what Kennedy and Durbin did is illegal.

"When you start messing with the judicial nominating process because you oppose a judge based on his ethnicity or you want to delay a judge's nomination to affect a case, that's a serious breach of ethics," he explained. "The ethics committee in the Senate ought to take a look at it."

One of the sidelights in the case is the lack of media attention. Instead of focusing on the ethics of the memos, papers such as the Washington Post have focused on how they were leaked.

Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, said that approach is hardly surprising.

"What the media really don't want to tell people is the extent to which the liberal interest groups — the National Organization for Women, the Human Rights Campaign (and) Planned Parenthood — are telling the Democrats, 'We don't want any Bush judges confirmed,' " Graham said.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: durbin; estradamemo; fotf; judicialnominees; judicialwatch; naacpmemo; tedkennedy
United States Senator Jeff Sessions Wednesday, February 26, 2003 Judicial Nominations -- Miguel Estrada

How did we get into this circumstance? How did we get to this point where the ground rules have changed, that we are into an obstructionist tactic, an unfair procedure? What happened? After the last election when President Bush was elected, the New York Times reported that the Democrat majority, the Democratic Senators at that time early in President Bush's administration had a retreat at some location unknown to me, and they heard at that time from three liberal law professors, Lawrence Tribe, Cass Sunstein, and Marcia Green burger. These liberal professors at this private retreat told the Democrats at that time, they should change the ground rules for nominations. They should ratchet up the pressure and they should alter the historic rules of courtesy, the historic presumptions in the Senate, and they should change how nominees are treated. They said: You have the power to do it. Do it, Democrats. Stand up and block these nominees. Do not accept the nominees from President Bush, like this Republican Senate accepted President Clinton's nominees. Fight every step of the way. That is apparently what has happened.

Shortly after that, when the majority in the Senate changed, I served on the Administrative Oversight and the Courts subcommittee. Senator Schumer chaired that subcommittee. He held hearings. He held hearings to argue the point that the burden of proof for a confirmation of a judge should change and it ought to be on the judge to prove he is qualified. That has never been done before in the history of this country. We had Lloyd Cutler, former Counsel to the White House of Democrat Presidents. We had others testify. They testified that it would be wrong to shift the burden to the nominee, it was not the right thing to do. Then he had hearings to say we ought to just consider your politics, your ideology, as he said, and we can consider somebody's politics, and we can reject them if we do not agree politically.

'The case was fixed' - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics Senate Democratic staffers and a judge appointed by President Carter made extraordinary efforts last year to ensure that a liberal majority sat on the federal appeals court that heard the Michigan affirmative action cases, according to internal Democratic staff memos.

Coalition for a Fair Judiciary The Collusion Memos

These memos repeatedly make clear that a small collection of extreme left groups -- abortion groups, race organizations, labor unions and leftist groups specifically focused on judges -- are driving the Democrats' agenda and decisions. These groups tell Senate Democrats whom to attack and vote down, when to hold hearings on which nominee, how many hearings to hold and rules ofr allowing floor votes. The memos even indicate that the groups persuaded Democrats to delay nominations in order to affect pending cases.

Aldrich Defends the Senate Judiciary Whistleblower Placed on Administrative Leave Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) placed a Republican Committee staffer on administrative leave, after the release of Democrat documents revealing discriminating strategies for blocking certain judicial nominees.

1 posted on 12/05/2003 3:54:55 PM PST by Federalist 78
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To: Federalist 78
Judicial Watch going after Dims; you see more results after an EntMoot.
2 posted on 12/05/2003 3:56:56 PM PST by Paul Atreides (Is it really so difficult to post the entire article?)
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To: Federalist 78
Durbin never ceases to embarrass me.
3 posted on 12/05/2003 4:07:36 PM PST by RWR8189
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To: Federalist 78
...are accused...of bringing the Senate into disrepute...

Is this possible to do?

4 posted on 12/05/2003 4:33:59 PM PST by Grut
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To: Federalist 78
I'm sure this is making them shake in their wing tips.

5 posted on 12/05/2003 4:36:25 PM PST by unixfox (Close the borders, problems solved!)
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To: Grut
Barney Frank, ran a house of "ill-repute" - a little disrepute in the Senate is to be expected.
6 posted on 12/05/2003 4:52:23 PM PST by Federalist 78
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To: Paul Atreides
Chomsky would be very proud.
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To: Paul Atreides
Of course demorats care nothing about fairness and have nothing but contempt for any rules that don't give them what they want.

All they care about is their power. We need to retire them all.

Urge the Republicans to fight and if they won't then we should retire them to.
8 posted on 12/05/2003 5:39:11 PM PST by Bullish
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To: unixfox
I wonder whether Judicial Watch is trying to get back into conservative graces after three years of attacking Bush.

Too little, too late. All hat, no cattle.

9 posted on 12/05/2003 5:43:46 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Federalist 78
No sweat. The GOP can just set up a 30 hour filibuster session. That'll fix 'em.
10 posted on 12/05/2003 5:45:03 PM PST by squidly
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To: Federalist 78
"Fitton said what Kennedy and Durbin did is illegal.

We're considering LIBERAL Democrats....they aren't held to the same standards as the rest of us.....
I see you haven't learned that these sonsofbitches are ABOVE the law....

This arrogant behavior by the likes of Kennedy, Clintons, Dasshole, Schummer, Levin, Boxer, Durbin, Kerry, Clark, Jackson, Waters, Sharpton, etc........ -- may soon reach the point where is begins to sound like "Let them eat cake", and have the SAME EFFECT....

Semper Fi

11 posted on 12/05/2003 5:50:37 PM PST by river rat (War works......It brings Peace... Give war a chance to destroy Jihadists...)
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To: Federalist 78
A conservative watchdog group

First phrase, second paragraph. I said, "Oh, Geeze, not this shit again? Judicial Watch files another lawsuit they'll never win."

I stopped reading right then.

12 posted on 12/05/2003 6:35:45 PM PST by upchuck (This tagline is made from 100% reprocessed, recycled and rejuvenated tags. And they love it!)
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To: Federalist 78
13 posted on 12/05/2003 9:51:09 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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