Fair and Just Courts

Sessions' 'Extraordinary' Filibuster Falls Short Judge David Hamilton Advances

In response to the successful cloture vote on the nomination of Judge David Hamilton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker said, "After months of waiting, the path has finally been cleared for President Obama’s first judicial nominee Judge David Hamilton to join the Seventh Circuit."

Letter to Sen. Harry Reid from Progressive Leaders on the Delay in Confirming Dawn Johnsen

Letter to Sen. Harry Reid from Progressive Leaders on the Delay in Confirming Dawn Johnsen

The Pressure Is Building - Confirm Dawn Johnsen Now

For months now, Senate Republicans have been blocking the confirmation of President Obama's nominees to key positions in the federal government. Dawn Johnsen, the President's eminently qualified nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department, has been waiting longer than almost anyone else-nearly eight months!

Senate Confirms Thomas Perez

The United States Senate today confirmed the nomination of Thomas Perez to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

In Historic Senate Vote, Judge Sonia Sotomayor Confirmed to the Supreme Court

By a vote of 68 to 31, the Senate today confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court. PFAW's Marge Baker called her confirmation "a historic step for the nation and a triumph of the American way."

Senate Judiciary Committee Votes in Favor of Sotomayor

Judge Sotomayor is one step closer to confirmation to the Supreme Court with today's Senate Judiciary Committee vote to send her nomination to the full Senate.

Right Wing Attacks on Sotomayor Gain Little Traction

Right-wing leaders geared up months ago to oppose any Supreme Court nominee that the Obama administration might have an opportunity to make, and they have doggedly followed their script through the announcement of David Souter's intention to resign, the announcement of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination, and her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. For all their professed concern about the "politicization" of the judiciary, right-wing leaders have been planning since before President Obama's inauguration to treat any Supreme Court nominee primarily as a chance to begin political attacks on red and purple state Democrats with an eye to elections in 2010 and 2012.

Themes from the Right -- Day 2

The second day of right-wing attacks on Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor continued many of the themes of the first day’s attacks, mostly distortions of her judicial record and public remarks and distortions of President Obama’s desire for judges who exhibit empathy. National Review published a wave of anti-Sotomayor commentary on its website.

Sotomayor Excels at Day Two of Confirmation Hearings

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor performed exceptionally in her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings this week. See some of our coverage of the hearings on Facebook, Twitter or here on our blog. Please sign the petition to the Senate urging the confirmation of Judge Sotomayor if you have not already

Senator Hatch Attacks Straw Man over Ricci 'Smear'

People For the American Way responds to Orrin Hatch's comments at the confirmation hearing of Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Themes from the Right -- Nomination Day

Right-wing political and legal groups and pundits responded to President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court by cranking up their well-funded attack machine, following their pre-fab attack script (they have been attacking her for months as a potential nominee), launching ads against her confirmation, and threatening to use the nomination as a political bludgeon against Democrats from more conservative states.

Day One of Confirmation Hearings a Big Win for Sotomayor

The first day of hearings for the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor concluded today with Judge Sotomayor's opening statement. People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement: "Today's hearings went exceptionally well for Judge Sotomayor, and I think she made it very clear why President Obama chose to nominate her for a seat on our nation's highest Court."

PFAW Statement on Frank Ricci Discrimination Cases

PFAW statement about the important role that employment discrimination laws play for all Americans and the Right's use of loaded terms like "reverse discrimination" to attack Judge Sotomayor over the decision in Ricci v. DeStefano.

The Ricci Ruling and the Sotomayor Nomination

In anticipation of a ruling by the Supreme Court in Ricci v. DeStefano today or Monday, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement: "Opponents of Judge Sotomayor have gone to great lengths to use the ruling of her panel in Ricci v. DeStefano against her, and they will surely ramp up their efforts if the Supreme Court overturns the Second Circuit. But the simple fact is that the Supreme Court's ruling, whatever it may be, will not reflect upon Sotomayor's jurisprudence."

Supreme Court Strip Search Decision Supports Sotomayor Dissent

The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in the case Safford Unified School District v. April Redding declaring unconstitutional a school's strip search of a 13 year old girl but found that the individual officials involved were protected by qualified immunity. Debbie Liu, General Counsel at People For the American Way, issued the following statement: "The Court was correct in ruling that Savana Redding's Constitutional rights were violated when she was strip searched at school. Students don't lose their rights at the school house gate, and strip searching a teenage girl to look for ibuprofen is not a reasonable course of action."

Nomination on Track, Sotomayor Hearings Set to Begin July 13th

In response to the announcement of the confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan had the following statement: "Today's announcement is a clear sign that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is on track to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor is an eminently qualified nominee, and the misguided efforts by some prominent Republicans and their right-wing allies to smear her have failed."

African American Ministers Urge Swift Confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor To the Supreme Court

Statement by African American Ministers in Action Chair Rev. Tim McDonald

In the days following President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, the right-wing has hurled false, partisan-fueled attacks of incompetence and "reverse racism," as they strategize on how to oppose a nominee with more federal judicial experience than anyone currently serving on the Court. In response to President Obama's nomination of Judge Sotomayor, and the false right-wing attacks, Rev.

PFAW Statement on Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor

In reponse to the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan said, "President Obama has made a superb choice. Judge Sotomayor has one of the sharpest intellects on the federal bench. She's shown that she'll bring an open mind to the Court and rule on each case according to its particular merits. This nomination is good news for people who care about the future of our rights and liberties. Now it's up to our Senators to avoid the distraction of attacks from the far right and work for a smooth, fair confirmation process.

Groups Deliver More than 140,000 Petitions to Impeach Bybee

People For the American Way and MoveOn.org Political Action today delivered more than 140,000 petitions to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers calling for the impeachment of Judge Jay Bybee for his role in trying to bend the law to justify the Bush administration's torture policies when he headed the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. After authoring memos explaining how prisoners could be tortured while skirting federal law, but before the memos became public, Bybee was confirmed to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Right Wing Follows Deceptive Script On Supreme Court

A day after news of Justice Souter's planned resignation broke in the news, "dozens" of right-wing leaders representing more than 60 groups got together for a strategy call organized in part by the Judicial Confirmation Network to get everyone fired up and on message. All you need to know about the credibility of this campaign's leaders, and the credibility of their evaluations of potential nominees, is contained in this one sentence from the Judicial Confirmation Network's Wendy Long: "The current Supreme Court is a liberal, judicial activist court."
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