WASHINGTON – Supporters of appeals court judicial nominee Miguel Estrada said they plan to follow up TV ads run last week with Spanish-language promotions aimed at breaking a filibuster by Senate Democrats.
The Committee for Justice, a group that supports the conservative attorney in his bid to become the first Hispanic judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit, said they had not yet determined where the ads would be run.
Last week the organization ran TV ads in Indiana and North Carolina, states with Democratic senators that Estrada supporters hope to win over in their effort to break the Senate deadlock over his nomination. Ads were also run in the Washington, D.C., area.
C. Boyden Gray, former White House counsel under the administration of Bush's father and president of Committee for Justice, at a press conference Wednesday said Nebraska was also targeted by ads, but said Thursday that he was mistaken in that statement. Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson is one of several Democratic senators who has come out against his party's filibuster against the nomination.
A separate pro-Estrada group, The Latino Coalition, plans radio spots in Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida and the District of Columbia.
President Bush, who nominated the Washington lawyer in May 2001, has accused Democrats of "shameful politics" in holding up a confirmation vote. Democrats say Estrada has not been forthcoming about his judicial philosophy and that too little is known about a man who would join an important appeals court viewed as a stepping stone to the Supreme Court.
Democrats began a filibuster on the nomination last week before the Senate left for a recess. They plan to keep up their resistance when the Senate returns next week.
Republicans have the 51 votes needed to confirm Estrada but not the 60 votes to end a filibuster. Democrats said last week that 44 Democratic senators have agreed to keep the filibuster going.