Judicial nominee Miguel Estrada has bowed out of contention for a key federal judgeship, ending a two-year battle with Democratic opponents. Estrada, a Honduran immigrant and Harvard Law School graduate, would have been the first Hispanic member of the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, considered a stepping stone to the Supreme Court. Democrats blocked the nomination, saying Estrada was an extreme conservative who refused to say where he stood on abortion and other controversial issues. Supporters said Estrada was a qualified lawyer who got caught in a partisan battle for control of the courts. “The treatment of this fine man is an unfortunate chapter in the Senate’s history,” President Bush remarked.
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