Thursday, April 08, 2004

USVI: Confirmation or filibuster?

Assistant Attorney General Curtis Gomez, nominated to the District Court bench in November by President George Bush, will face questions on his qualifications and legal experience from the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning.
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After Gomez's hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will schedule a vote on Gomez's judgeship, Tapia said. If Gomez is endorsed by the Judiciary Committee, his nomination will go before the full U.S. Senate.

If the Senate votes to confirm Gomez as the next St. Thomas District Court judge, he will replace Thomas Moore. Moore's 10-year judicial term expired in June 2002, and he has remained on the bench while another appointment was pending.

Gomez, 40, is a Virgin Islands native who has had a distinguished academic and legal career. He was born on St. Croix and later moved to St. Thomas, where he was valedictorian at Charlotte Amalie High School in 1981. He earned his bachelor's degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1984.

He is a 1989 Harvard Law School graduate. His first job as a lawyer was a four-year stint at Patton Boggs, a law firm in Washington, D.C. He then spent four years as an associate at the St. Thomas law firm Dudley, Topper & Feuerzeig.

He has been an assistant U.S. Attorney since 1997, starting on St. Thomas, where he was responsible for the criminal investigation and prosecution of public corruption, violent crime and drug offenses, as well as the U.S. Attorney's Financial Litigation Unit. In July 2001, he was transferred to the Eastern Virginia District in Alexandria, Va., where he was assigned to the Narcotics Investigation Unit. He returned to St. Thomas to serve in the same capacity in November 2002.
Will Gomez get the Miguel Estrada/Janice Rogers Brown treatment? Given that Democrats want to keep well qualified blacks and Hispanics off of the courts because of their race, it's quite likely that Gomez will be meted out the same treatment as other Bush ethnic nominees. Proof:
A series of Democrat memos on judicial nominations was leaked to the Wall Street Journal, where it was the subject of a November 14 editorial. The most disturbing information in the memos is highlighted in the editorial, which is attached. As one memo makes clear, for example, Democrats specifically targeted Miguel Estrada because he is Hispanic. (That memo alone would seem to give Estrada a prima facie Title VII claim.)
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[M]emos include: Singling Out Estrada
A June 2002 memo to Kennedy, Schumer, Durbin, and Cantwell urges delaying a hearing on Miguel Estrada in order to give the groups time to complete their research. A November 2001 memo to Durbin also notes that the groups have identified Miguel Estrada as especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court.
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The memos also reveal the extreme views and attitudes and cold political calculations motivating the Democrats actions on judges.
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A November 2001 Durbin memo sets the tone by noting that most of Bush's nominees are nazis. Jay Bybee, a nominee to the Ninth Circuit, gets off relatively easily: a February 2003 Kennedy memo merely describes him as "an awful nominee." Another memo, titled "Owen Talking Points for Caucus" attacks the whole Fifth Circuit, describing it as "one of the least fair and least just circuit courts." But the most abuse is directed at Miguel Estrada. Interestingly, though Judiciary Democrats argued to themselves that they should defeat Estrada because he is Hispanic and an attractive Supreme Court nominee, they told a different story to other Democrats.
Read the whole of Democrats on Judges.

There's also this:
Liberals like Kennedy and Durbin tout “diversity” and “equality” but hypocritically oppose a Hispanic because Estrada is a “dangerous Latino” and Judge Brown because, as a Kennedy staff memo said: “We can’t repeat the mistake we made with Clarence Thomas.”
No, Democrats do not want any ethnic minorities in positions of power, especially when the individuals in question have brains and have earned the right to be where they are. If Gomez is black with a Hispanic surname, then he is twice as likely to have his nomination filibustered cuz he's a two-fer. That's life on the plantation, folks.

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