Issue Position: Nominations
The Senate's responsibility to confirm or reject the president's judicial nominations is fundamental to the Founder's vision of a system of checks and balances. Imbedded in the Constitution, the "advise and consent" clause grants the Senate its power to evaluate nominations, and it prevents a single party from abusing their power and imposing extreme views on the country. When making lifetime appointments to the courts, the president should take the advise and consent clause seriously, and consult with both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate on judicial nominations.
The Senate has an obligation to reject nominees who will reverse the hard-fought progress the country has made toward equality and opportunity. Judges eager to uphold the actions of those hostile to civil rights, unreceptive to disability and women's rights, and willing to jeopardize cherished liberties in the name of national security do not belong on the federal bench.
During his first term, more than 200 of President Bush's judicial nominees were approved with bipartisan support, a 95 percent confirmation rate.
By not allowing a vote in the Judiciary Committee, Republican leaders blocked 67 of President Clinton's nominees.
Republican leaders invoked the filibuster to indefinitely block President Clinton's nomination of Judge Richard Paez.