judicial nominations

President Obama to Announce First Judicial Nominee

According to media reports, President Obama will nominate David Hamilton, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, to a seat on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "David Hamilton is an ideal choice for this seat. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a willingness to put principle ahead of politics and bring an open mind to every case. Judge Hamilton has shown a deep commitment to the rule of law and core constitutional principles of liberty, equality, and justice for all Americans.

Republicans Threaten to Block Obama's Judges

In a letter released yesterday, all 41 Senate Republicans threatened to filibuster President Obama's judicial nominees unless they were given veto power over judges from their states. "The Republicans are doing everything in their power to cement their reputation as the 'Party of No,'" said PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert. "Voters gave President Obama a mandate to appoint judges who understand that the Constitution and the laws provide for equal justice for all. Now, before a single nomination has been announced, Republicans are threatening to block every single one of Obama's nominees. That's chutzpah."

The State of the Judiciary and the Bush Legacy

A report about the how the long-lasting part of President George W. Bush's legacy will be the weakening of Americans' rights and legal protections due to the dangerous state of the federal judiciary created by judges he has placed on the federal bench.

Report: McCain-Bush Judges Take a Toll on Ordinary Americans

As part of its Supreme Court campaign, People For the American Way cites a report released today by its affiliated Foundation titled The Human Toll: How Individual Americans Have Fared at the Hands of Bush Judges. The report collects some of the stories of American men, women, and children whose cases have come before judges nominated by George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate. "George Bush's judges have done irreparable harm to real people in our nation," said People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert, who also pointed out that John McCain has supported 100% of Bush's judicial nominees. "President Bush has largely succeeded in reshaping the judiciary in his own image, and he's had the support of John McCain every step of the way."

“Independent” John Sununu Rubberstamped 100% of George Bush’s Right-Wing Judges

In New Hampshire, the state Republican Party attempted to defend Senator John Sununu’s support of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito by calling Sununu “an independent voice for New Hampshire.” People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, “If John Sununu is an independent voice, why has he voted for every single one of President Bush’s most extreme judicial nominees? On the most important votes he’s taken confirming nominees to lifetime seats on the federal bench, he’s voted in lockstep with George W. Bush. He’s certainly distinguished himself as one of President Bush’s most loyal allies; he can’t reasonably be called ‘independent.’”

McConnell Throws Tantrum over Controversial Nominations, Holds Up Global Warming Bill

In response to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s move to hold up Senate business by requiring the clerk to read a 500-page amendment, People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, "Once again, the Senate Republicans are throwing a fit, demanding to have more Bush judicial nominees confirmed in the waning months of President Bush’s term. This time, they’re gumming up the works in the Senate with a parliamentary maneuver, effectively shutting down the Senate as it works on the global warming bill."

McCain Sticks to Bush Script on Judges

Sen. John McCain’s speech about judges today stuck to the script written by right-wing ideologues and followed by President George W. Bush. People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, "Here’s what McCain was really telling the party base: If you liked George W. Bush’s nominees, you’re going to love the judges John McCain will put on the bench."

The Specter of More Right-Wing Judges

Statement on judicial nominations by People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert:

"In the waning days of President Bush’s unpopular presidency, Senator Arlen Specter and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are throwing temper tantrums over judges. They’ve even repeatedly threatened to shut down the Senate — which would hold up crucial legislation as the economy teeters on the edge of recession — if they don’t get their way.”

"Senators McConnell and Specter conveniently forget that over 300 of President Bush's judicial nominees have been confirmed — a greater percentage than were confirmed for President Clinton. More importantly, the longstanding and bipartisan Senate practice known as the 'Thurmond Rule' dictates that only non-controversial judicial nominees should be processed in the months preceding a presidential election.

"Senator Pat Leahy, who has gone far above and beyond what is required as committee chairman, announced that three additional federal circuit court nominees would be confirmed in short order. But that didn’t suit McConnell and Specter. They’re simply not interested in mainstream nominees that can win bipartisan backing — not when there are political points to be scored. Instead they’re playing to the base by pushing three highly controversial nominees.

"Senator Specter apparently learned a lesson four years ago when he nearly lost a primary to Patrick Toomey, the handpicked candidate of the Religious Right and Club for Growth. Ever since, Specter has been a pit bull for right-wing judges. That’s bad for Pennsylvania and bad for America.

"Senators Specter and McConnell will continue their pressure tactics around judges, but Senate Democrats must stand strong. The clock is ticking for President Bush, but it’s already run out for his controversial nominees."

 

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People For the American Way has background information on the three controversial nominees being pushed by Specter and McConnell: Peter Keisler for the DC Circuit and Robert Conrad Jr. and Steve Matthews for the Fourth Circuit.

Janice Rogers Brown

Despite Senate Democrats' filibuster of Janice Rogers Brown in 2003, President Bush renominated Brown to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in early 2005. Brown's record as a California Supreme Court justice raised serious concerns about her fitness, but she was nonetheless confirmed as part of the "Gang of 14" compromise to prevent the so-called "nuclear option" that would have eliminated judicial filibusters.

PFAW Report on William G. Myers III

Mining, coal and cattle industry lobbyist William G. Myers III is President Bush’s latest nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Myers has amassed an incredible record of promoting environmental degradation and harm to the interests of Native Americans, both from his position as an industry lobbyist and from a short stint as solicitor for the Bush Administration Department of the Interior.

Confirmed Judges Confirm Our Worst Fears

This report shows that many of the George W. Bush's nominees that have already been confirmed to lifetime seats on the federal judiciary threaten the rights of ordinary Americans.

President Clinton Addresses PFAW's Supreme Court Panel--Part I

President Clinton speaks at PFAW's Supreme Court panel about his judicial nominees, the importance of the federal judiciary, and the impact of the then-upcoming 2000 election on the Courts.

President Clinton Addresses PFAW's Supreme Court Panel--Part II

President Clinton speaks at PFAW's Supreme Court panel about his judicial nominees, the importance of the federal judiciary, and the impact of the then-upcoming 2000 election on the Courts.
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