Why the Senate Judiciary Committee made the right decision when they rejected the confirmation of Priscilla Owen to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said that Sen. Orrin Hatch’s recent speech on the Senate floor repeatedly denouncing People For the American Way and describing the Federalist Society as a group of lawyers concerned only with encouraging debate on legal issues was “unfortunate, unfair, and inaccurate.” Neas released a letter to Sen. Hatch as well as a recently updated copy of a People For the American Way Foundation report on the Federalist Society, which examines the group’s influence on the Bush administration’s judicial selection process.
President Bush today sent the Senate 30 nominations for lifetime positions on the federal district and circuit courts, including 14 candidates for crucial appeals court judgeships, as well as several other judicial nominations. Among the nominees are Charles Pickering and Priscilla Owen – both rejected last year by the Senate Judiciary Committee – and a number of other judges with troubling records on civil rights and other issues, some of whom are opposed by local, state and national civil rights, women’s rights, and other organizations.
Statement of Ralph G. Neas on the White House Economic Stimulus Plan and Judicial Nominations
Judge Shedd’s record of hostility and insensitivity to the rights of minorities, women and people with disabilities demonstrates that he should not have been promoted to the U.S. Court of Appeals. If the president continues to nominate candidates like Judge Shedd, Democrats and moderate Republicans must oppose them.
People For the American Way strongly criticized today’s Senate Judiciary Committee vote to recommend for confirmation the nominations of Judge Dennis Shedd to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Professor Michael McConnell to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Both nominations now head to the Senate floor.
Today, without bipartisan consultation with the Senate, the White House released a new plan to push faster confirmation for President Bush’s judicial nominations. People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said the White House proposal was “pure politics in the unilateralist style that is the hallmark of this administration.”