So, while you can find a lot of information about the Estrada filibuster (and why it's important) here, here, here and here, it all basically boils down to this: Republicans want to push Miguel Estrada's nomination to a very important judgeship, despite the fact he's kept information from them and, in some instances, lied.
What, exactly, is the responsibility of the Senate on this issue, though? Why do they need this information? I mean, it's not really their job to find out what a judge believes, but only if he or she is qualified, right?
Not so, said Orrin Hatch seven years ago:
"Those nominees who are or will be judicial activists should not be nominated by the President or confirmed by the Senate, and I personally will do my best to see to it that they are not." -- Orrin Hatch in a speech to the Federalist Society, November 15, 1996 (via the, shudder, Phyllis Schlafly Report)
The Nitpicker thanks the Senator for clearing that up.
But, my, what a difference seven years make:
During Estrada's five-hour confirmation hearing last year, Democrats repeatedly contended that he lacked judicial experience. Estrada's refusal to answer questions about specific cases, including those on abortion rights, gave them little to review, Democrats complained.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Estrada answered every question the Democrats had. "The truth is he didn't answer questions in a way that could be used against him," he said.
I ask you, how can these bastards sleep at night?