Religious advocate on board for 10th Circuit
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MAY 9, 2001

In a White House ceremony today, President Bush will nominate 11 judges to the federal bench, including a religious advocate who will oversee cases affecting a number of tribes should he be confirmed by the Senate.

Michael W. McConnell is a University of Utah law professor whom Bush will name to a seat on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court has jurisdiction over cases affecting tribes in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.

In 2000, McConnell successfully argued before the Supreme Court that providing federal funds to religious schools didn't necessarily violate the First Amendment. In law review articles, he has advocated for a wider role of religion in society.

Another nominee who will hear cases affecting tribes if confirmed is Miguel A. Estrada, who was born in Honduras. Bush will name him to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

Estrada is a parter with Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher, along with Theodore B. Olson, Bush's pick as Solicitor General in the Department of Justice.

Bush Announces Nominees:
Video | Text | White House Factsheet

Get the Story:
Bush Will Nominate 11 as U.S. Judges (The Washington Post 5/9)
Bush Nominees to Federal Bench (The Washington Post 5/9)

Relevant Links:
Michael W. McConnel, University of Utah -
Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher -

Related Stories:
Bush nominee familiar with Indian law (5/9)
War waged over Bush nominees (5/4)