Bush brüskiert den Senat mit seinen konservativen Richtern
--- Als besonderes Weihnachtsgeschenk hat Bush seine schon einmal durchgefallenen konservativen Kandidaten mal wieder für Posten als Bundesrichter mit Aussicht auf allerhöchste Würden beim Supreme Court nominiert. Der Senat -- und insbesondere die Demokraten dort -- sind "not amused" über seine Agenda: The nominees, who will officially be put forward once the Senate is in session, include some of the president's most contentious choices for the federal courts, including several ardently opposed by abortion-rights groups and a Pentagon lawyer linked to a disavowed administration legal memo on torture. Among them is California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, whose nomination last year to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia — a traditional steppingstone to the Supreme Court — ignited debate because of her statements that judges should use their authority to rein in big government. During the last two years of Bush's first term, Senate Democrats used filibusters to block 10 of the president's 34 appellate court nominees, arguing that they held views that were too extreme. Propelled by socially conservative voters and a wider Republican majority in the Senate, the president appears ready to use his second term to try to move the federal courts to the right on such issues as religion, abortion, gay rights, the environment and consumer protection. But even Republicans acknowledge that the fates of some of the nominees remain unclear, and that they expect continuing opposition from their colleagues across the aisle. ... Democrats gave no sign Thursday of relenting in their criticism of Bush's judicial nominees, and it seemed likely that the stalemate would continue for at least some of the selections. Still, the new Senate Democratic leader stopped short of pledging to resume filibusters. "I was extremely disappointed to learn today that the president intends to begin the new Congress by resubmitting extremist judicial nominees," said incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "Last Congress, Senate Democrats worked with the president to approve 204 judicial nominees, rejecting only 10 of the most extreme. Our swift action reduced the vacancy rate on our courts to the lowest level in 15 years, and outpaced the confirmation rate of Reagan, Clinton and former President Bush." Reid added: "There are pressing issues facing this nation — from the war in Iraq to the 44 million Americans without healthcare — that demand bipartisan action by the administration and Congress. It's a disservice to the American people to detract from the important work of the Senate to reconsider these failed nominees."