SD state senate passes resolution requesting Sens. Daschle and Johnson to allow Estrada vote.

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the South Dakota State Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 9, a stinging resolution requesting that 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 an overwhelming 28-3 margin, with four abstentions.

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 Senate has it right," continued Norquist, "but South Dakota\’s elected U.S. Senators are between a rock and hard place: do they listen to their voters or to the special interests who don\’t want to see a Republican President nominate a qualified Latino to a high bench?"