SD house follows the lead of the state senate, calling on Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson to allow a floor vote for Miguel Estrada.

WASHINGTON – Today, the South Dakota State House passed a resolution instructing U.S. Sens. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) to allow a vote on the floor of the United States Senate on the appointment of Miguel Estrada. The resolution passed by a 49-20 margin, almost straight along party lines, with one Democrat siding with House Republicans.

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.

Senator Daschle is the Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate, and the person most responsible for filibustering a floor vote on Miguel Estrada, and thus shutting down work in the legislative body. Since February 6th, the Senate has spent nearly 100 hours debating the Miguel Estrada nomination. Daschle\’s obstruction comes at a time when the country is on a verge of war, the economy is slumping, and the War on Terrorism is heating up. 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 on the verge of a two-front war against terrorism and Saddam Hussein – not to mention that the economy is in the doldrums." Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation\’s leading taxpayer advocacy organization, and a critic of the politicization of the judicial nomination process.

On February 18th, The Washington Post called on Senate Democrats to "Stop These Games and Vote," and even Mr. Daschle himself is on record supporting up-or-down votes on judicial nominees during the Clinton Administration. (Congressional Record, 10/5/99)

"The South Dakota Legislature has it right," continued Norquist, "and South Dakota\’s U.S. Senators should listen because voters will not forget how their U.S. Senators put their special interests above their voters interests. It is obvious that Senators Daschle and Johnson do not want to support a well-qualified, well-respected Latino man to a high bench just because they don\’t like President Bush."