Senate Republican leaders plan to stage a series of cloture votes and a Judiciary Committee vote on four controversial judicial nominees on Thursday. People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said the votes demonstrated GOP leaders’ willingness to run roughshod over Senate rules and traditions in order to satisfy the demands of President Bush’s campaign strategy.
The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted along party lines to advance the controversial nominations of David McKeague and Richard Griffin of Michigan to the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.
Senate Republican leaders failed today in an effort to force a final Senate vote on appeals court nominee William Myers, an underqualified ideologue whose nomination has created intense controversy, including opposition by some environmental protection advocates and Native American organizations who have never before opposed a federal judicial nominee.
Senate Republican leaders have scheduled a July 20 cloture vote on the appeals court nomination of William Myers, whose blatant use of his government position to undermine environmental protections and disregard the rights of Indian tribes has drawn unprecedented opposition and widespread editorial denunciation. People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said the push to confirm the underqualified ideologue to the federal appeals court reflects Republican leaders’ election-year strategy to manipulate the judicial confirmation process for political gain.
President Bush’s campaign-style photo ops with judicial nominees pending in the Senate distort the real picture on federal judicial nominees, said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas today.
The Senate has confirmed President Bush’s nomination of Leon Holmes to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The nominee’s record of extremism on reproductive choice, the role of women and other issues had generated concern even among some Republican Senators, several of whom voted against Holmes.
On July 6, the Senate will vote on the federal district court nomination of J. Leon Holmes to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Holmes’ statements and writings reveal that he has been a zealous opponent of reproductive freedom and women’s equality. In fact, Holmes’ record is so troubling that a number of pro-choice Republican senators may be prepared to break the record to date of unanimous Republican support for President Bush’s judicial nominees. Even Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee - usually the most ardent defenders of Bush's nominees - were not unanimous in endorsing Holmes' confirmation. Instead, the nomination went to the floor without recommendation.
The just-completed Supreme Court term was memorable for a number of decisions that protected important civil rights principles and constitutional liberties, according to an end-of-term analysis published today by People For the American Way Foundation. The report also notes that this term slowed the momentum of the Supreme Court’s recent “states’ rights” jurisprudence.
We have recently been reminded of the extraordinary importance of the Supreme Court’s role in protecting Americans’ constitutional rights and liberties. Yet the Court’s role and its future – specifically the powerful influence that people selected to fill future vacancies will exert – receive relatively little media coverage, even in a hotly contested election year when the issues affected by the Court are more likely to generate public interest.
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that had held that it did not have the jurisdiction to review an order by the district court requiring the disclosure of documents from the energy advisory committee headed by Vice President Cheney in 2001 during the discovery process. The Supreme Court did not decide the secrecy issue, but directed the Court of Appeals to rule on Cheney’s claim that he cannot be subjected to the discovery process.
The White House and Senate Republican leaders abandoned their brief flirtation with a bipartisan approach to judicial nominations this week, rebuffing efforts by Michigan Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow to reach a compromise on nominations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, abandoning a longstanding tradition of the Senate previously upheld by both parties, overrode the objections of both of the nominees’ home-state senators and forced a judiciary committee vote on the nomination of Henry Saad to the 6th Circuit. The nomination advanced on a party-line vote. Yesterday, Hatch scheduled a confirmation hearing on two other 6th Circuit nominees, David McKeague and Richard Griffin, despite the continued objections of both home-state Senators. That hearing also contradicted previous Committee policy that only non-controversial nominees should be considered this late in an election year, and that no more than one controversial nominee should be considered at a single hearing.
People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas called on President Bush to withdraw the appeals court nomination of William Haynes, the Defense Department General Counsel who signed off on the administration's detention policies and contributed to the catastrophic lack of oversight of prisoner treatment in Abu Ghraib prison.
With crucial Supreme Court rulings continuing to be decided by narrow margins, and with a Supreme Court vacancy long overdue, the next President is likely to nominate new Supreme Court justices who will have a huge and long-lasting impact on constitutional rights, liberties and laws, according to a report released today by People For the American Way Foundation. Courting Disaster 2004 documents that additional Supreme Court justices in the mold of current Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would have a devastating impact on civil rights, privacy and reproductive rights, the First Amendment, environmental protection, and much more.