Iowa state senate passes resolution asking U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D) to allow a floor vote on judicial nominee.

WASHINGTON – On May 1st, the Iowa State Senate passed Senate Resolution 28, requesting that U.S. Sens. Tom Harkin (D) and Chuck Grassley (R) allow a floor vote in the U.S. Senate on the appointment of judicial nominee Miguel Estrada. The resolution passed by a voice vote, and a similar resolution is awaiting action in the Iowa House.

Estrada is President Bush\’s nominee for the federal Court of Appeals based in Washington, DC. His nomination has been held up for well over a year.

Sen. Harkin is often coined as one of the key Senate Democrats pushing the filibuster of President Bush\’s nominees. As recently as yesterday, Sen. Harkin attempted to gather party members in another filibuster attempt to block another judicial nominee Jeffrey Sutton; however, the attempt was stopped by minority leadership.

Since February 6th, the Senate has spent nearly 100 hours debating the Miguel Estrada nomination. This obstruction continues despite the fact that the country has fought and won a war, the economy is slumping, and the War on Terrorism is continuing. Meanwhile, the Senate cannot go about daily work until the filibuster is either defeated by a vote to end floor debate or the nomination is pulled.

"Senate Democrats have undertaken a style of raw, vile, snakepit politics at its worst," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, "and all at a time when the United States is fighting against terrorism and rounding up the Saddam Hussein\’s henchmen – not to mention that the economy is in the doldrums." Norquist, a critic of the politicization of the judicial nomination process, heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation\’s leading taxpayer advocacy organization.

On February 18th, The Washington Post called on Senate Democrats to "Stop These Games and Vote."
"The Iowa Senate has it right," continued Norquist, "and one of Iowa\’s U.S. Senators [Harkin] should listen to voters instead of railing against perfectly qualified nominees. It is obvious that Sen. Harkin does not want to support a well-qualified, well-respected Latino man to a high bench just because he doesn\’t like President Bush."