NCJW Sees New Opportunity in Estrada Withdrawal

September 4, 2003, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has expressed its relief that Miguel Estrada has withdrawn his name from consideration for a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. In a statement released today, NCJW President Marsha Atkind voiced hope that the withdrawal would lead to a more cooperative nominating process:

"President Bush should take to heart the fate of Miguel Estrada’s nomination. Those nominees who attempt to conceal their views in the confirmation process, or are directed to do so by the administration, will not be confirmed. Mr. Estrada was right to conclude that an irreconcilable stalemate had developed, and that the full Senate was not going to confirm him given the present circumstances.

"Mr. Estrada’s withdrawal gives the administration a perfect opportunity to re-assess its selection process for nominees. The President can either continue to nominate to the federal bench judicial candidates he thinks will advance an extreme conservative agenda or he can work with the Senate to nominate mainstream candidates dedicated to upholding the Constitution and respecting legal precedent. If he does the former, his nominees will continue to face opposition in the Senate and the population at large. If he does the latter, he can count on the cooperation of senators and Americans committed to maintaining a fair and impartial judiciary.

"NCJW, like other organizations that have chosen to monitor and speak out on judicial nominees, fervently hopes that the Estrada withdrawal will be the beginning of the end of contentious nominations proposed for their appeal solely to a small right-wing faction of the electorate."

The National Council of Jewish Women is a volunteer organization that has been at the forefront of social change for over a century. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW works to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families and to ensure individual rights and freedoms through programs and projects initiated by its network of 90,000 members and supporters nationwide. NCJW has launched BenchMark: NCJW's Campaign to Save Roe, a national effort to educate and mobilize NCJW members, the Jewish community, and friends and allies everywhere to promote a federal bench with judges that support fundamental freedoms, including a woman's right to choose.