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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
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Items from Lt. Col. David Michael Booth, Class of 1964, on display at the Muster Reflections Display in the Memorial Student Center on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Muster Reflections Display held ahead of ceremony
Hilani Quinones, Assistant News Editor • April 18, 2024

Until April 21, visitors can view personal memorabilia from fallen Aggies who will be honored at the 2024 Muster Ceremony. The Aggie Muster...

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Julia Cottrill (42) celebrating a double during Texas A&Ms game against Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Muffled the Mean Green
Shanielle Veazie, Sports Writer • April 17, 2024

Early pitching woes gave Texas A&M softball all the momentum needed to defeat the University of North Texas, 11-1, in a matchup on Wednesday,...

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The Highway 6 Band performs while listeners slow dance at The Corner Bar and Rooftop Grill on Sunday, March 24, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
'Life is a Highway' (6 Band)
Amy Leigh Steward, Assistant Life & Arts Editor • April 17, 2024

It starts with a guitar riff. Justin Faldyn plays lead, pulling rock and blues out of the strings.  After a beat, comes the beat of the drums,...

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Think your music taste somehow makes you different? Opinion writer Isabella Garcia says being unique is an illusion. (Photo by Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Opinion: The myth of uniqueness
Isabella Garcia, Opinion Writer • April 16, 2024

You’re basic. It’s thought that the term “basic bitch” originated from a 2009 video of Lil Duval standing on a toilet in front of...

Estrada highly qualified

Who is Miguel Estrada? Born in Honduras, he immigrated to the United States with his family at age 15, and at 17 he was accepted into Columbia College where he graduated magna cum laude. He later graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. He has clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and as a constitutional lawyer, he has argued 15 cases before the High Court. Before joining the Washington, D.C. firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, where he is currently a partner, he served as assistant to the solicitor general under the Clinton administration. Yet Miguel Estrada, the man who undoubtedly possesses the quintessential immigrant story, is now considered unqualified to judge appellate cases by New York Sen. Charles Schumer and the more than 40 Democrats who are presently filibustering his nomination to the Senate. This is an unprecedented, over-politicized debate that Democrats are senselessly spearheading.
The Fox News Web site reported that Democrats are filibustering because Estrada has not provided enough information on his views or his judicial record to give them an accurate estimate as to what his performance would be if approved for the federal bench. Clearly, a nominee such as Estrada must provide sufficient information regarding his background so that senators may feel confident in their vote.
However, Estrada has done just that — regardless of what Schumer may believe. Schumer’s comments on This Week with George Stephanopoulos concerning the Estrada situation reflect the general anti-Estrada argument, and were countered in a letter from Alberto Gonzales, counselor to President George W. Bush. He blasted Schumer’s criticisms one by one. Schumer is seeking various memorandums written by Estrada while working in the Clinton administration. As Estrada pointed out in his hearings and Gonzales in his letter, these memorandums are protected under attorney-client privileges. Disclosure of such documents could easily lead to Estrada’s disbarment.
Also, according to Schumer, Estrada failed to answer specific questions posed to him by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and thus should not be confirmed. According to Gonzales’ letter, three of President Clinton’s judicial nominees answered no more than 20 questions and one answered only three, yet each was confirmed to the bench. To date, Estrada has answered more than100 questions orally and 25 as written follow-ups. The questions he refused to answer related to personal views on ideologically-driven judgments such as Roe v. Wade. Each time he responded that he had not delved into the specific case as a judge would, but guaranteed the senators that he would uphold the law and that his personal views were immaterial.
Other outspoken senators such as Ted Kennedy have suggested that Estrada has a “serious temperament problem,” according to the Fox News site. One must wonder, with such a stereotypical comment coming from Kennedy, that if Estrada were Irish Catholic, would he also have a serious drinking problem? A Fox News Web article cited a GOP source who claimed that Democrats are “trying to make (Estrada) into Ricky Ricardo.” Estrada’s legal background is solid; when one cannot argue facts, one is left to attack credibility.
Schumer and his colleagues are playing a dangerous game. They have before them an Hispanic judicial nominee, an immigrant, a graduate of Columbia and Harvard and successful constitutional lawyer, yet to them, he is “unqualified.” What would make him qualified? If he had said that he was personally against abortion, he would have been laughed out of the committee hearing as an extremist, regardless of the fact that Estrada once argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of National Organization for Women and a small group of abortion clinics in the mid 1990s.
One can have personal views that inevitably will conflict with legal precedent. As long as the case warrants it, one must be willing to subvert one’s personal views in the face of federal law. To suggest otherwise is to argue that all judges be selected based on their political views rather than their knowledge of the law. Estrada has guaranteed senators of his fairness and has proven his willingness to subjugate his personal beliefs.
Why Democrats are choosing this fight is puzzling. Perhaps it stems from the fact that Estrada would be a likely choice to succeed a retiring Supreme Court judge. However, it is senseless for Democrats to fight Estrada now. They will gain nothing and potentially lose the support of a large percentage of the Hispanic community. A Fox News article reported that Republicans have bought airtime on various Hispanic stations such as Telemundo to reveal the injustice that is occurring on the Senate floor.
Unfortunately, time is waning for Estrada; he may never be confirmed. Republicans have the 51 votes needed to confirm, but lack the 60 votes needed to break the Democratic filibuster. Republicans and Democrats have a long history of trying to stall certain judicial appointments for political reasons; however, this is not the fight for Democrats. Estrada is one of the most well-qualified nominees to come before the Senate, and the fact that he is a conservative should be irrelevant.

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