WA state senate passes resolution requesting Sens. Murray and Cantwell to allow Estrada vote.

WASHINGTON – On March 10th, the Washington State Senate passed Senate Joint Memorial 8020, a stinging resolution requesting that U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) allow a vote on the floor of the United States Senate on the appointment of Miguel Estrada. The resolution passed by a 26-22 margin.

Estrada is President Bush\’s nominee for the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. His nomination has been held up for well over a year.

Senator Murray, as one of the Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate, is responsible for allowing a filibuster on a floor vote for 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. Murray\’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 Senate Minority Leader Daschle himself is on record supporting up-or-down votes on judicial nominees during the Clinton Administration. (Congressional Record, 10/5/99)

"The Washington State Senate has it right," continued Norquist, "but Washington\’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?"