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Bush judicial nominee Saad withdraws name

WASHINGTON (BP)–Michigan judge Henry Saad, one of President Bush’s embattled nominees to the federal appeals courts, has withdrawn after more than four years of waiting for confirmation by the United States Senate.

Bush nominated Saad, 57, to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in November 2001, but Democrats blocked a confirmation vote, as they have on several Bush choices.

“At some point you address the inevitability of a situation and I think it is at some point incumbent upon someone to say this isn’t the time and this isn’t the place,” Saad told the Associated Press.

“At this point in time, it made sense for me to step aside and maybe make room for someone else,” he added.

Currently a judge on the Michigan state court of appeals, Saad was nominated three times by Bush to the court of appeals –- first in 2001 — but never received an up-or-down vote. He almost certainly had enough votes for confirmation. Michigan’s U.S. senators –- Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow – opposed Saad’s nomination. Democrats criticized Saad for siding with corporations in lawsuits. Groups supporting abortion rights, homosexual activism and liberal causes led the opposition.

The American Bar Association rated him as “well qualified.”

Saad was one of several judges that Democrats were blocking on the eve of a Senate showdown over judicial filibusters in early 2005. Fourteen senators – seven Democrats and seven Republicans – reached an agreement that avoided a showdown and allowed some of Bush’s nominees to get a vote. Saad’s nomination, though, wasn’t one of them.

Saad hopes that his stepping aside allows other judges from Michigan to make it on to the federal bench.

“If something’s going to happen before the midterm elections, it seemed to me the timing was appropriate and it seemed to me also that my nomination was not going to move forward,” he told AP.

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