November 16, 2001

Why Are Liberal Senators Opposing An Hispanic For Federal Bench?

Washington, DC - "Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and other liberals are showing their true colors in their opposition to Miguel Estrada who has just been nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, DC," said Traditional Values Coalition spokesman Rev. Martin Garcia today. "Liberals have long pushed for ethnic diversity in our nation's courts, yet when someone as qualified as Estrada is nominated to the federal bench, Leahy claims he is too `controversial' to be confirmed." Rev. Garcia, Executive Director of La Amistad, an affiliate organization of the

Traditional Values Coalition, that represents the interests of Hispanic churches in the United States and Puerto Rico. "The only thing that's controversial about Miguel Estrada is that he's not a lock-step liberal who will actively legislate from the bench instead of interpreting the law," said Garcia. "He's being opposed because he respects the U.S. Constitution and opposes judicial activism. Liberals like Leahy want judges who will rule as an unelected liberal oligarchy."

Traditional Values Coalition supports Miguel Estrada's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Estrada graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and served as a member of the editorial board of the Harvard Law Review. This is the first time a President has nominated an Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

It appears that Leahy and his liberal allies are simply implementing an anti-Bush agenda promoted by "The New Republic" in May of this year. "New Republic" Editor Peter Beinart laid out the strategy for the liberals on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He told them they should "go after" Miguel Estrada who is characterized by Beinart as a "Honduran immigrant and rising right-wing star; his life story makes liberals swoon, but his politics makes them shudder."

Beinart has noted that liberals for years have emphasized the importance of ethnic diversity in the courts, but now they must reject this view and focus on ideological diversity. "Beinart tells liberals that they must defeat Estrada's nomination because it sends a message to Bush that his Supreme Court nominees must be ideologically diverse-not ethnically diverse," said Garcia. "This is rank hypocrisy. We are calling upon Senator Leahy to stop playing racial politics with this nomination and vote to confirm Estrada immediately."

Traditional Values Coalition is an interdenominational public policy organization representing more than 43,000 churches across the United States. TVC's Web site is: www.traditionalvalues.org.

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