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(6/25/2005)

 

Alliance for Justice Releases List of Consensus Nominee Choices to Fill a Supreme Court Vacancy

Senate's Advise and Consent Role Starts With Selection of Judges

In anticipation of the first Supreme Court vacancy since 1994, Alliance for Justice today released the names of judges who, if nominated, would show the president's commitment to a process of consultation, not confrontation.

"The consultation role of the Senate is a duty that is recognized in the Constitution, by history, by constitutional experts, by senators from both parties and by all signatories to the bipartisan deal recently struck to avert the nuclear option, "said Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron. "The goal of the White House should be to nominate someone to the Supreme Court who can be supported by a majority of Senators - both Democrats and Republican presidents."

Alliance for Justice released the following list of consensus nominees, all of whom were appointed by Republicans:

  • Stanley Marcus, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

  • Michael Mukasey, Southern District of New York

  • Edward Prado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

  • Ann Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Aron said the list of names was not final and emphasized that there would be further research conducted on them before announcing the group's unqualified support. However, an initial vetting of each of these nominee's records indicated that they met the standards of qualification for a lifetime position on the Supreme Court that should be acceptable to both the president and the Senate.

The Constitution's framers intended the Senate to play a substantial role in the process of selecting and confirming judges. Senators throughout history have interpreted their "advise and consent" role as one that gives them the power both to provide advice before the president makes nominations and to make independent determinations once the president sends nominations to them.

Even the current and past Republican chairs of the Senate Judiciary Committee have argued that the Senate's "advise and consent" role should be one that is both pro-active and substantive. For example, Senator Hatch wrote in his book Square Peg that he recommended Justices Breyer and Ginsburg to President Clinton. In 1997, Senator Specter introduced a bi-partisan resolution in the Senate calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to establish a pool of possible Supreme Court nominees for the president to consider.

Aron added, "The American public wants and deserves moderate justices who have an exemplary judicial record, an open-minded approach to the law, a commitment to equal justice for all Americans, and who will continue to move the country forward, rather than attempt to roll back years of progress with regard to civil rights, individual rights, worker's rights, women's rights, environmental and consumer protections."

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