Advertise:   712.224.5420

Senate begins debate on Bush judicial nominees

Republicans and Democrats in the Senate began debate on Wednesday on the use of filibusters against President Bush's most controversial judicial nominees.

Republicans say the nominees are entitled to an up-or-down vote. With 55 members, they have enough votes to clear any pick.

Democrats say they have the right to block any nominee considered too "extreme" or out of the "mainstream." They have been using filibusters, which require 60 votes to break.

Included in the controversial bunch is Bill Myers, the Interior Department's former top lawyer who is nominated for a spot on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Tribes and tribal organizations unanimously oppose the nomination, citing Myers' record on sacred sites, sovereignty and the trust relationship.

Debate is expected to continue until Republicans seek to use the "nuclear" option to force a majority vote. Democrats have offered votes on certain nominees but Myers is not one of them.

Get the Story:
Gloves Off As Senators Start Debate On Judges (The Washington Post 5/19)
From Senator's 2003 Outburst, GOP Hatched 'Nuclear Option' (The Washington Post 5/19)
Fight on Judges and Filibusters Opens in Senate (The New York Times 5/19)
Pressure by White House Is Being Applied With Care (The New York Times 5/19)

Relevant Documents:
Inspector General Letter | NCAI Resolution | Environmental Group's Letter | Holland & Hart Biography

Indianz.Com Profile:
Industry insider named to Interior (March 30, 2001)

From the Indianz.Com Archive:
Myers reversing sacred site opinion (10/25)
Bush nominee has no 'agenda' on Clinton decisions (6/21)

Related Stories:
Senate showdown on Bush judicial nominees nears (5/17)
Democrats won't budge on Myers, other nominees (5/13)
Debate continues over blocked judicial nominees (05/10)
Democrats reject GOP offer on Bush judicial nominees (04/29)
GOP refuses compromise on Bush judicial nominees (4/27)
Democrats may offer deal on some Bush nominees (4/26)
Frist to challenge Democrats on judicial nominees (4/15)
Senate panel votes to advance Myers nomination (03/18)
Quechan Nation blasts Myers for Senate testimony (3/17)
Editorial: Reject Myers for appeals court on merits (3/17)
Democrats vow to shut down Senate on judicial picks (3/16)
Editorial: Myers still 'unworthy' choice for appeals court (03/11)
Salazar urges Bush to withdraw Myers nomination (03/02)
Myers before Senate Judiciary Committee again (3/1)
NCAI renews objection to Bill Myers nomination (2/25)
Probe of Myers role in ranching dispute released (2/23)
Investigation faults role of Bush nominee at Interior (02/16)
Republicans to push Myers for appeals court again (2/15)
Democrats block court nominee on Senate floor (7/21)
Vote set on controversial Bush court nominee (7/20)
Democrats continue to object to Myers nomination (05/19)
Bush nominee opposed by Indian Country advances (04/02)
Tribes blast Bush choice for federal appeals court (03/26)
Tribal leaders to discuss court nominee, budget (03/24)
Tex Hall: Former DOI lawyer bad choice for court (3/8)
Myers advocated giving $1M federal land for free (03/08)
Bush judicial nominee blasted by Democrats (02/06)
Senate committee to take up Bill Myers judgeship (2/3)
Probes clear ex-DOI lawyer seeking judgeship (01/12)
Appeals court nominee favored industry over tribes (12/18)
Interior's top lawyer stepping down next month (10/02)
DOI's top lawyer under ethics investigation (08/15)
Interior has few answers at Senate hearing (7/18)
Tribes push action on sacred sites (3/21)
Interior Solicitor on trust fund crash course (10/17)
Memo: Solicitor's order was 'intimidating' (10/10)
Myers reversing sacred site opinion (10/25)
Bush nominee has no 'agenda' on Clinton decisions (6/21)
Norton confirmed by 'landslide' (1/31)
Babbitt denies Calif. gold mine (1/19)
BLM recommends mine rejection (11/10)