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FROM THIS EPISODE

The Constitution gives the President the power to appoint judges, but only with the -advice and consent- of the Senate. Yet in an argument as old as the Constitution itself, the President claims the Senate is holding up his judicial nominees, so the courts can-t do business. The Senate says the President is trying to pack the courts with ideologues or cronies. This time, President Bush is accusing Senate Democrats of delaying justice by holding up his judicial nominees. Democrats say he-s appointing extremist ideologues and that Senate Republicans gave worse treatment to President Clinton. We join Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, experts on judicial reform and constitutional law, and former presidential counsel John Dean for a discussion about partisan politics, judicial independence, and the filibuster.
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    Last week, US intelligence agencies have told the Washington Post that 19 months of the war on terror have nearly crippled al Qaeda, but that was before yesterday-s attacks in Saudi Arabia. At the same time, London-s International Institute for Strategic Studies released its annual survey, saying al Qaeda has taken on a new form that could be just as dangerous as the old one. Jonathan Stevenson edits Institute-s Strategic Survey.
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    Republican legislative leaders in Austin this week dispatched the Texas Rangers to go find the Democrats. They turned up, 30 miles north of the border, but since the Rangers have no jurisdiction in Oklahoma, the Democrats are still there. Ross Ramsey, who edits Texas Weekly, which focuses on state and local politics, says they plan to stay long enough to keep the GOP majority from conducting legislative business back in Austin.

American Bar Association

DOJ on Miguel Estrada, judicial nominee to Appeals Court

DOJ on Priscilla Owen, judicial nominee to Appeals Court

House Judiciary Committee

Senate Judiciary Committee

Republican Party of Texas

Texas Democratic Party

Texas Legislature

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