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Press Release

”FAMILY TIES” TYING U.S. SENATE IN KNOTS

11/03/2003

Families are what make America, and Michigan, strong. Families take care of each other and make sacrifices for one another. Family ties bring us all together.

But in Washington, U.S. Senator Carl Levin is going too far for his family.

In a new radio ad airing statewide, Citizens for a Sound Economy informs the families of Michigan that Levin is sacrificing our families for his own. Levin is blocking confirmation of a highly qualified judicial nominee to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals.

Why? Because Levin wants the job to go to a cousin-law. That’s right. A cousin-in-law.

State Representative Craig DeRoche, R-Novi, applauded CSE’s efforts, saying, “Senator Levin has been holding the nominations of several Michigan judges hostage for many months now. He has no objection to the qualifications of these nominees. He simply wants political revenge. And even more outrageous, he’s abusing his power in the Senate and the goodwill he’s built with Michigan families. He’s putting justice for Michigan families at risk, simply to try and get a plum appointment for a family member.”

Since the summer, Citizens for a Sound Economy has vigorously fought to “free the Michigan Four,” a reference to the four Circuit Court nominees Levin and Stabenow have blocked. They are Richard Griffin, currently serving on the Michigan Court of Appeals; David McKeague, currently a U.S. District Court judge in the Western District of Michigan; Susan Bieke Neilson, currently a judge on the Circuit Court in Wayne County; and Henry Saad, currently a member of the Michigan Court of Appeals. Griffin’s nomination has languished in the Senate for over one year, and the others have been blocked for nearly two years. In addition, two nominees to the District Court of Eastern Michigan, Thomas L. Ludington and Daniel P. Ryan, are on hold, bringing to six the total number of Michigan jurists being held hostage by Levin and Stabenow’s partisan obstruction.

“It’s bad enough that Senator Levin has the audacity to let these critical judgeships go unfilled for so long, simply for petty partisanship,” continued Representative DeRoche. “But to insist on a cousin-in-law getting one of the judgeships instead of these highly qualified nominees strains the bounds of credulity. Every day these judgeships remain vacant is another day Michigan families are denied their full voice on the court… denied justice.

“Senator Levin should end his crusade for nepotism and partisan politics. Family ties should not be allowed to tie up the Senate, and harm Michigan families, anymore.”