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Representative Mary Skinner, Republican from the Yakima region is one of two Hispanics serving in the Washington State House.


Feb. 25, 2003

NEWS RELEASE: House Democrats block move asking U.S. Senate for Estrada confirmation

In an effort to urge the U.S. Senate to move forward with the confirmation of Miguel Estrada as the first Hispanic judge to sit on a U.S. Court of Appeals, Rep. Mary Skinner today made a procedural motion to have House Joint Memorial 4020 pulled directly for consideration by the full House.

Skinner, who introduced the legislation, voiced the need for urgency on the bill.

"For nearly two weeks, a filibuster in the United States Senate has been under way by those seeking to block President Bush's nomination of Miguel Estrada to a federal appeals court. This filibuster is preventing the U.S. Senate from completing other urgent business at a time when there are so many issues that need the guidance of our Senate's leadership," said Skinner, R-Yakima. "This resolution asks the U.S. Senate to move forward with the Estrada confirmation."

Skinner noted that Estrada is more than qualified to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"Miguel Estrada is the embodiment of the American Dream. He came to the United States at the age of 17, just barely able to speak English. Five years later, he graduated with honors from Columbia University. He then went on to attend Harvard and has been a practicing prosecuting attorney in New York," said Skinner. "The American Bar Association has given him its highest rating: well-qualified."

Skinner noted that unfortunately, Estrada's nomination has become caught up in a partisan game of politics, with Democrats in the U.S. Senate holding a filibuster to attempt to block the confirmation.

"With everything happening in our world today, now is not the time for the U.S. Senate to put everything on hold," noted Skinner. "I am proud to live in the land of opportunity where people like me, from humble means, can become successful with only a dream in their hearts and the drive to work for that dream. That's why I believe it's important for us to send this urgent message to Congress and show the world that through the appointment of Miguel Estrada, the American Dream is alive and well."

Although House Republicans backed Skinner's motion for a vote, House Democrats blocked the move and the bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee.

"This is unfortunate - a missed opportunity. Hopefully, our efforts today will still send a message to Congress to move forward with the Estrada confirmation," concluded Skinner.

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