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Schumer Brokers New Judge Pick


April 28, 2003
Copyright © 2003
NY DAILY NEWS. All rights reserved. 

WASHINGTON - President Bush will tap a Hispanic lawyer today for New York's federal bench in a deal that may help Democrats fend off charges they unfairly rejected another Hispanic nominee pushed by Bush.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said yesterday he has reached an agreement with the White House to nominate Dora Irizarry - a Republican who lost a bid for state attorney general last year - for a vacancy in Brooklyn federal court.

Irizarry, who would be the first Hispanic in the Eastern District, is "instinctively moderate" and "not extreme in any way," Schumer said, in a reference to conservative Bush nominee Miguel Estrada.

Democratic insiders said Irizarry's nomination is a way for the White House and Democrats to save face by lining up behind a more mainstream Hispanic.

Nicolle Devenish, a White House spokeswoman, said the administration does not comment on judicial candidates.

Schumer has led opposition to the embattled Estrada's nomination to the District of Columbia appeals court.

Senate Democrats launched a filibuster after the White House refused to fork over confidential memos Estrada penned while working for the Bush and Clinton administrations.

Bush has accused Senate Democrats of holding the Honduran immigrant to a "double standard," and administration officials have insisted that such documents are never released.

Schumer called that jab a "cheap" attack, but wouldn't say whether there was a deal in the works to clear Estrada's nomination.

Irizarry, 48, was born in Puerto Rico and reared in New York City. A graduate of Yale and Columbia Law School, she has served as a state criminal and claims court judge and is now in private practice.

Her nomination must be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate.

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