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Cornyn: Stop the Threats, Give Nominees an Up-or-Down Vote

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U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, made the following statement Friday regarding a veiled threat by Senate Democrats of even more filibusters against President Bush's nominees to the federal bench unless he unilaterally agrees to give up a constitutional option on nominees:

"I was astonished to hear Democrat members of the Senate issue veiled threats of further obstruction against the President's nominees. For too many of these well-qualified candidates, the threat is already real; too many already face unprecedented obstruction through the use of filibusters.

"What they don't tell the American people is the only reason President Bush has used the constitutional option of recess appointments is because of the obstruction launched by those now threatening more unconstitutional barriers to the federal

"The President made the decision to appoint these well-qualified nominees because of the unprecedented filibuster that Judge William Pryor, Judge Charles Pickering and other nominees have faced-even though they all enjoy bipartisan, majority support in the Senate. His was a constitutional response to an unconstitutional filibuster.

"I hope that by the end of this session of Congress, my colleagues will give the President's qualified nominees what they, and all current and future nominees deserve: the opportunity to have a fair up-or-down vote on the floor of the Senate on their nomination. For the sake of the Senate, the nation, and our independent judiciary, I hope that these partisans will not launch more filibusters, but from what I've heard today, I won't hold my breath."

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