|May 9, 2005 -- Representatives of about a dozen
conservative groups held a press conference to reiterate their call for
an up-or-down vote on President Bush's judicial nominees. Senate
Democrats have blocked a number of Bush's nominees, labelling
them extreme. The long-simmering dispute has put a spotlight on
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who appears poised to change the
Senate rules, using what has been termed the "nuclear option," to end
Above: Progress for America, Inc. provided a cake to mark the occasion of Bush's initial nomination of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 9, 2001. Progress for America went up with TV and radio ads last week and is one of a number of groups running ads. Below: Manuel A. Miranda is chairman of the National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters. Now at the Heritage Foundation, he previously served as nominations counsel for Frist. When he left that position, Frist asked him to organize grassroots support on the issue. Miranda said he has been holding conference calls on the issue for about a year. According to Miranda, the leaders of the various organizations ("grass-tops") are going to call Senators today; members of the groups will flood the Senate switchboard tomorrow; and next week "talk radio is going to explode." Of Frist Miranda says, "He is not a politician driven by ambition; hi is a boy scout driven by competition."