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Center to Chairman Patrick Leahy

In a letter reproduced here, the Center for Individual Freedom urges Chairman Patrick Leahy to support President Bush's recent nonpartisan proposal to expedite the judicial nomination and confirmation process.




C e n t e r   F o r   I n d i v i d u a l   F r e e d o m


October 31, 2002

Chairman Patrick Leahy
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Leahy:

On behalf of the Center for Individual Freedom, I am writing to urge you to support the nonpartisan proposal outlined this week by President George W. Bush to streamline and expedite the judicial nomination and confirmation process.

Members on both sides of the aisle have long acknowledged the vacancy crisis plaguing the Federal Judiciary. The administration of justice is being drastically delayed due to overloaded dockets and a politicized process that fails to fill longstanding vacancies at the circuit and district court levels. Today, 79 federal judgeships remain vacant, including 27 in the Circuit Courts of Appeal. Yet, 51 judicial nominees sit in limbo, many still awaiting hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The president's plan, if adopted, would not only help reduce the current vacancy crisis, but would ensure a fully staffed Judiciary in the future, regardless of which party controls the Senate or the White House. It sets much-needed strict but fair timelines to be met by all parties involved in the process. It ensures the timely fulfillment of the constitutional duties of all three branches of government. And it will serve to reinstate dignity and civility into the confirmation process.

The Center for Individual Freedom is a nonpartisan constitutional advocacy group with the mission to protect and defend individual freedoms and rights in the legal, legislative and educational arenas. The Center does not endorse or oppose any nominee for the federal bench. Rather, our objective is to encourage the timely fulfillment of constitutional duties inherent in the confirmation process. President Bush's plan will achieve this goal.

In the immortal words of William Ewart Gladstone, "Justice delayed is justice denied." I strongly urge you to adopt President Bush's proposal today.


Jeffrey Mazzella
Sr. Vice President, Legislative Affairs

cc: Ranking Member Orrin Hatch
cc: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle
cc: Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott
cc: White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales

[Posted Month Date, 2002]