Causes and Effects of the Judicial Confirmation Crisis
Recorded on March 10, 2003
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.