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The Allegan County Chapter of Michigan Citizens for a Sound Economy (MI CSE) held a rally today to protest Senator Carl Levin’s obstruction of President Bush’s nominations for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. State Representative Fulton Sheen and about twenty other Michigan citizens gathered outside the Allegan County Vocational Centerwhere the Senator was visiting, and demanded that Levin "Free the Michigan Four."
President Bush has nominated four qualified individuals to fill the four vacancies in the Sixth Circuit that have been deemed judicial emergencies by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Despite that, Senator Levin and his Michigan colleague, Senator Debbie Stabenow, are taking advantage of Senate tradition which allows them to block judicial nominees from their home state.
Blocked nominations have caused judicial crises around the country, resulting in more summary judgments and rushed decisions. The large number of open seats in the courts is creating a judicial system that is overworked and understaffed. That means Americans are being deprived of their judicial rights as they are forced to wait longer for their day in court and judges are forced to make rushed decisions.
By requiring judicial nominees to pass litmus tests in order to get approved, Senator Levin and his obstructionist colleagues in the Senate have chosen to serve their political ideology at the expense of the judicial system. They have also caused other work in the Senate to be delayed, creating a legislative as well as judicial logjam.
State Representative Fulton Sheen said the following:
"Presidential nominees for judicial posts should be evaluated solely on their judicial qualifications not on their political ideologies. The obstructionist behavior of Senators Levin and Stabenow are not in the interests of the People of Michigan."
Al Lust, a local businessman and Director of Allegan CSE, led the rally and made following comments:
"Senator Levin and Senator Stabenow are perpetuating a judicial emergency. The federal judicial system in our area has been paralyzed by overworked judges and case backlogs for too long to continue these petty ideological games.
"We call on Senator Levin to free the Michigan four as soon as Congress is back in session."