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Causes and Effects of the Judicial Confirmation Crisis

Recorded on March 10, 2003

Location:
The Heritage Foundation's Van Andel Center

The filibuster over the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia has tied up the Senate for almost a month. This follows a two-year slowdown in the confirmation process by the former Senate majority that has resulted in a serious backlog of unconfirmed circuit judges and a judicial vacancy crisis in some areas of the country. Throughout this frustrating process, current Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch has tirelessly defended qualified nominees and urged his fellow Senators to act fairly, reasonably, and promptly on all judicial nominees.

As the Estrada filibuster drags on, Chairman Hatch has grown increasingly concerned over the consequences of this breakdown in the confirmation process and the failure in the Senate's constitutional obligation to provide its advice and consent to presidential nominations. Chairman Hatch will relate his concerns and discuss what can be done to repair the confirmation process before further damage is done.