Fair and Just Courts

Beyond the Sigh of Relief: Justices in the Role of Marshall and Brennan

Transcript of an event at the National Press Club about nominating and confirming justices who will defend personal freedoms and fundamental rights.

Supreme Court Takes Detainee Case

The Supreme Court today decided to hear the case of Ali al-Marri, a U.S. resident who has been held without charge by the federal government for more than five years. The case will determine whether the president can order the indefinite military detention of people living in the United States. PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "Despite its shift to the right, the Supreme Court has still proved itself willing to check the excessive power of the executive branch. I'm hopeful that the Court will stand up for the Constitution yet again, and place some meaningful limits on abuses of presidential power."

Kennedy Steps Down From Judiciary Committee

In response to Senator Kennedy's departure from the Senate Judiciary Committee, People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "During his years on the Judiciary Committee, Senator Kennedy proved himself to be one of the Constitution's staunchest defenders. His passion for justice and his deep commitment to equality under the law have helped to better our nation in countless ways. Although we look forward to working with Chairman Leahy and the other members of the committee, we will miss Senator Kennedy’s presence immeasurably. He is irreplaceable."

Discussion on Obama and the Future of the Supreme Court

On December 9, People For the American Way Foundation will present a panel discussion entitled "Beyond the Sigh of Relief: Justices in the Mold of Marshall and Brennan" to examine what an ideal justice looks like in the twenty-first century. What: "Beyond the Sigh of Relief: Justices in the Mold of Marshall and Brennan"; When: December 9, 2008, 2:30 p.m.; Who: Kathryn Kolbert (moderator), Julius Chambers, Dahlia Lithwick, John Payton, and Jamin Raskin

Holder: A Solid Pick for Attorney General

President-elect Barack Obama today announced his decision to nominate Eric Holder to be Attorney General in the new administration. People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "After so many years of scandal and mismanagement at the Justice Department, we’re happy to see Eric Holder nominated for the top job. The Department of Justice should be a vigorous advocate of the rule of law. Under the Bush administration, it has been used as an ideological bludgeon. It's going to take a great deal of work to restore the credibility and authority of the Department of Justice, especially the civil rights division. Eric Holder is a solid choice for the job."

Exit Polls Say Supreme Court Was a Winning Issue for Obama

Exit polls from CNN provided more evidence that the Supreme Court was a winning issue for Senator Barack Obama. Data from the nationwide survey of voters shows that those who called the Supreme Court a factor in their vote broke for Obama 53 to 45. Voters who called future Supreme Court appointments the most important factor went for Obama even more strongly — 57 to 41. PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "This week, voters elected someone who has said he will nominate justices who will protect their personal freedoms and ensure every American equal access to justice."

Television Ads Focus on Senators' Support for Harmful Bush Supreme Court Justices

TV ads airing this week in Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Oregon focus on the harmful impact of key senators' votes to confirm Bush nominees Samuel Alito and John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court and urges them to stop supporting bad judges.

Obama Wins Mandate on the Courts

A post-election memo from PFAW on how yesterday's results "delivered a sweeping mandate for President-elect Obama to appoint federal judges who are committed to core constitutional values."

The End of Choice?

Nov. 4 could be the beginning of the end for the right to choose. In this video, we lay out some scary math.

Ads: Senators Who Put George W. Bush -- Not Their Constituents -- First

As part of People For the American Way's Save the Court campaign, we're running ads in key states targeting senators who voted against their constituents' interests by supporting George W. Bush's extreme judicial nominees. The ads below call out senators who sided with Bush when it came to judicial nominees whose decisions had very real — and negative — impacts on families in their state.

More Rights At Stake: A Preview of the Supreme Court's 2008-09 Term

A report from People For the American Way Foundation on a selection of cases the Supreme Court will consider in the term beginning October 6, 2008. In the 2008-09 term, the Court is set to consider a number of important cases involving voting rights, employment discrimination, free speech, and access to justice.

The Human Toll: How Individual Americans Have Fared at the Hands of Bush Judges

People For the American Way Foundation has documented in a series of reports the damage that Bush nominated judges have done to the Constitution — and to Americans' ability to seek and expect justice in the federal courts when challenging unlawful treatment by corporations, government agencies, and other powerful entities. This report looks at a selection of cases with an eye to the human cost of a federal judiciary dominated by an ideology that is all too willing to sacrifice individual rights and legal protections.

Federal Judge Terrence Boyle Unfit for Promotion to Appeals Court

In criminal cases, the Fourth Circuit defines a “plain error” as one that is obvious, detrimentally affects the rights of the defendant, and is so egregious as to implicate the “fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings. . .” United States v. Bellamy, 264 F.3d 448, 445 (4th Cir. 2001), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 1143 (2002). This very strong language makes it clear that plain error is not a term used by the Circuit to describe harmless or justifiable mistakes.

Federal Judge Terrence Boyle Unfit for Promotion to Appeals Court

Record as a Judge Shows High Reversal Rate, Troubling Rulings on Individual Rights

A People For the American Way Analysis of Boyle’s Judicial Record

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