In a recent exchange with reporters about judicial nominations, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told journalists that Congress has "not moved forward on its obligation to have hearings and to hold votes, because the President has nominated very good people." Not only is she mistaken about the Senate not fulfilling its obligation, but Perino is also wrong about the President nominating "very good people" to serve as federal judges with life tenure.
The Senate’s "obligation" regarding the President’s nominations to serve on the federal bench is not a one-way street ending in a rubber stamp of approval. The Constitution gives the Senate the role of "advice and consent" regarding judicial appointments. President Bush has repeatedly flouted the advice of Senators from states where judicial seats are vacant - including the advice of Republican Senators, such as Senator John Warner of Virginia.
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To learn more about the issues surrounding judicial nominations, check out our website at www.afj.org/connect-with-the-issues/.