Fair and Just Courts

Senate Insider Griffith Confirmed to DC Circuit

Nominee practiced law without a license

A troubling record on discrimination and serious ethical lapses involving practicing law with a suspended license in the District of Columbia and practicing law in Utah without a Utah license– were not enough to keep Thomas Griffith from a lifetime appointment to the powerful Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as the former Senate legal counsel was confirmed on an 73-24 vote in the Senate today.

Pryor Confirmation Puts Americans’ Rights at Risk

Statement of People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas

Just a day after giving Janice Rogers Brown a lifetime seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Senate confirmed William Pryor, another activist right-wing ideologue, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. For the first time, three Republican senators voted against a Bush appellate court nominee.

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.

Neas Decries Owen Confirmation

Texas Judge favors Corporate Interests, imposes Right-Wing Ideology

People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas Wednesday expressed deep disappointment at the confirmation of Texan Priscilla Owen to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in the first confirmation vote since a compromise was reached to avoid the detonation of the “nuclear option” on filibustering judicial nominees in the Senate.

Statement of People For the American Way President on Senate Compromise Rejecting Nuclear Option

The explicit language of the agreement reached tonight by a group of senators rejects the nuclear option, preserves the filibuster and ensures that both political parties will have a say in who is appointed to our highest courts. The agreement embodies the very principle of consultation and consensus that the filibuster encourages. This is good news for the American people.

AAMIA Chair Responds to Outrageous Claims that Racism and Sexism Are Behind Opposition to Brown, Owen Nominations

At a news conference this afternoon addressing the nuclear option, African American Ministers in Action Chair Rev. Timothy McDonald made the following statement in response to claims that racism and sexism are behind opposition to the Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown nominations:

“I want to directly address some of the charges that have already been made by several prominent figures on the right and that may well be repeated by the ministers I know will be gathering later this afternoon to talk about Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown.

PFAWF Launches Three New Ads in Filibuster Fight Endgame

People For the American Way Foundation will launch three new ads in the television battle over the filibuster, as the clash over the 200-year-old Senate practice nears a historic vote.

The three ads are targeted to moderate Senate Republicans considered key to the outcome of the battle in Pennsylvania, Alaska and Maine, and will begin airing in those markets, Washington, DC and on national cable television on Sunday and Monday.

Partisan Push for Pryor on Judiciary Committee Signals GOP Intention to Muscle Extremists onto Bench

The Senate Judiciary Committee today gave approval to appeals court nominee William Pryor, who was given a recess appointment in February 2004 after his nomination failed to win Senate approval in the last Congress. Pryor joins several other previously blocked nominees that Republican leaders are bringing to the Senate floor in advance of a threatened maneuver to break Senate rules that have prevented the president’s most controversial nominees from getting confirmed to lifetime positions on the powerful federal appeals courts.

New Filibuster Ad: People For Ready with Rebuttal to Progress for America

New People For ad challenges sympathetic portrayal of nominees Owen, Brown

As a new ad hits the airwaves to build support for Republican leaders’ threats to break Senate rules, People For the American Way is firing back with its own ad defending the filibuster as an important part of our system of checks and balances.

The new PFAW ad reminds viewers that more than 200 of President Bush’s judicial nominees – more than 95 percent – have been confirmed, and that the threatened “nuclear option” is about its proponents’ desire for unchecked power.

Politics and Religion: Everything Old Is New Again

People For the American Way Resurrects 25-year-old Ad for “Justice Sunday”

People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) has updated a 25-year-old ad in the face of increasing attempts to manipulate religion for political gain by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, including his planned appearance as part of “Justice Sunday” and his looming threat to deploy the “nuclear option” to eliminate the filibuster.

Nuclear Countdown: Committee Vote on Previously Rejected Nominees Brings Senate One Step Closer to Frist's Fiasco

The Senate Judiciary Committee today set up a potential “nuclear” showdown in the Senate as early as next week by approving two appeals court nominees whose far-right judicial philosophies and troubling judicial activism resulted in their nominations being blocked during the last Congress.

Boyle Testimony Confirms Opponents’ Fears

PFAW Analysis of Judiciary Committee Hearing Shows Severe Lack of Credibility and Radical Record Make Boyle Unfit to Serve on Fourth Circuit

People For the American Way released today an analysis of appeals court nominee Terrence Boyle’s March 3 confirmation hearing and his subsequent answers to written questions from senators. The report further documents that Boyle is unfit for promotion to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Boyle is scheduled for a Judiciary Committee vote on Thursday, April 21.

With Frist's Finger on the 'Nuclear' Button, PFAWF Launches New Ad

Republican Firefighter Returns to Washington to Save the Filibuster

With Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist poised to unleash the so-called "nuclear option" as early as next week, People For the American Way Foundation will release a new television spot in targeted states and on national cable news Wednesday, urging Senators to preserve the filibuster for judicial nominees as a part of our system of checks and balances on government power.

Nominees Brown and Owen Pushed toward Senate Vote despite Records of Putting Political Agenda before Law

Frist may use previously rejected nominees as excuse to deploy ‘nuclear option’

Two judicial nominees who failed to win Senate approval during President Bush’s first term are moving this week, with Senate Judiciary Committee votes scheduled on Thursday, April 21 for Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown.

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