President Bush took the unusual step of unveiling his first 11 judicial nominees in a formal East Room ceremony at the White House. He declared, "I now submit these nominations in good faith, trusting the good faith will also be extended by the United States Senate.... I ask for the return of civility and dignity to the confirmation process." Among the first 11 choices:
- Roger Gregory to the 4th Circuit Court in Virginia. President Clinton generated Republican outrage when he nominated Mr. Gregory, the first black judge on the 4th Circuit, to the post last year when Congress was in recess. Mr. Bush hopes the pick signals bipartisanship.
- Michael W. McConnell to the 10th Circuit in Denver. He is a well-respected Supreme Court specialist and the editor of a forthcoming book on Christian perspectives on legal thought. A professor at the University of Utah, Mr. McConnell also taught at Harvard and the University of Chicago.
- Priscilla Owen to the 5th Circuit in Texas. Elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1994, she is the second woman ever to sit on the state high court.
- Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit, often seen as a training ground for Supreme Court nominees. A law partner of Bush election lawyer Ted Olson, Mr. Estrada came from Honduras as a teenager and graduated near the top of his Harvard class.