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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Senator Bill Frist is joining forces with radical right religious groups using malicious charges of religious bigotry to build support for Frist's plan to dismantle checks and balances that prevent one-party domination of the federal judiciary. People For the American Way today called on Frist to repudiate such tactics.
Attorney Thomas Griffith’s troubling record and serious ethical lapses – including practicing law with a suspended license in the District of Columbia and practicing law in Utah with no license at all – were not sufficient to prevent approval of his nomination on a 14-4 Senate Judiciary Committee vote today. People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said Griffith’s status as a former Senate insider explains the strength of his support.
The legendary image of Senator Jefferson Smith launching a film filibuster in the U.S. Senate opens a multi-million-dollar ad campaign aimed at saving the real thing – a crucial element of the Senate’s more than 200-year old system of checks and balances.