Fair and Just Courts

Urgent Need for a National Dialogue on the Future of the Supreme Court

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.

Supreme Court Sends Cheney Case Back to Lower Court

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.

White House, GOP Leaders Abandon Bipartisanship on Judges after Right-Wing Heaps Abuse on Recent Deal

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 Calls on President Bush to Withdraw Judicial Nomination of Lawyer Linked to Detention, Combatant, Abu Ghraib Policies

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.

Americans “Courting Disaster” with Next Supreme Court Justices

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.

Partisan Ideologue Brett Kavanaugh Underqualified and Unfit for Nation’s Second Most Powerful Court

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled an April 27 confirmation hearing on the nomination of Starr Report co-author Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In a report released today, People For the American Way urges senators to reject the nomination.

Myers Post-Hearing: Still Unfit to Judge

Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals nominee William G. Myers' testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and written responses to questions only strengthened the case against his confirmation to the bench. Earthjustice, People For the American Way, and Community Rights Counsel have prepared a report highlighting his lack of experience and allegiance to industry.

Myers Wins Narrow Judiciary Committee Vote

Lobbyist for Mining, Cattle Industries Wrong Choice for 9th Circuit
The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 10-9 -- along party lines -- to send William G. Myers to the Senate floor. With no judicial experience, William Myers is one of the least qualified nominees the Bush Administration has put forward, and among the farthest from the mainstream of judicial philosophy.

Read the article on Myers from the premium Salon.com -- free to visitors from PFAW.org!

William G. Myers: An “Activist” Lobbying from the Federal Bench?

Despite continual haranguing from the radical right about threats posed by “activist” judges, it is clear the real source of “activist” nominees to the federal bench is the Bush Administration. William G. Myers, a candidate for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, is the latest nominee to embrace an extreme “neo-federalist” approach that threatens to roll back much of the legal and social progress made in the past 70 years on environmental protection, civil rights enforcement, privacy, reproductive choice and much more.

White House Puts Politics First, Constitution Last With Appalling Recess Appointment Of Bill Pryor

Extremist Nominee Named to Appeals Court Despite Intense Opposition in Senate

Latest Judicial Nominee Takes Aim at Government's Ability to Protect Rights of All Americans and our Natural Resources

Mining, coal and cattle industry lobbyist William G. Myers III is President Bush’s latest nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Myers has amassed an incredible record of promoting environmental degradation and harm to the interests of Native Americans, both from his position as an industry lobbyist and from a short stint as solicitor for the Bush Administration Department of the Interior.

PFAW Report on William G. Myers III

Mining, coal and cattle industry lobbyist William G. Myers III is President Bush’s latest nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Myers has amassed an incredible record of promoting environmental degradation and harm to the interests of Native Americans, both from his position as an industry lobbyist and from a short stint as solicitor for the Bush Administration Department of the Interior.

PFAW Foundation Documents Disturbing Decisions by Bush Judges

As the Senate returns to Washington to resume consideration of President Bush’s nominees to federal appeals courts, a new report by People For the American Way Foundation tracks early decisions and dissents of Bush Administration judges already serving on the federal appeals courts. The first wide-ranging report on these judges uncovers “deeply disturbing” trends — including denial of workplace protections against discrimination, a willingness to curb individual rights, and efforts to curtail Congress’s ability to protect the rights and interests of all Americans.

Confirmed Judges Confirm Our Worst Fears

This report shows that many of the George W. Bush's nominees that have already been confirmed to lifetime seats on the federal judiciary threaten the rights of ordinary Americans.

Neas Calls Pickering Recess Appointment 'Absolutely Outrageous'

On January 16, 2004, President Bush installed Charles Pickering, Jr. of Mississippi on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals using a recess appointment.

Neas: GOP Strategy "Backfired"

As the U.S. Senate ended its marathon debate over judicial nominees, Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way, had the following statement:

“The Republican strategy backfired. They wanted sympathy, but their theatrics generated only ridicule. They wanted to demoralize the Democrats, but in the end they energized the Democrats, and fostered even greater solidarity.

Neas: What You Didn't Hear

The Senate has confirmed 168 of President Bush’s nominees, and just four have been blocked.

We Need a Judicial Debate that is Really About the Judiciary

While right-wing operatives fill the airways with false information about the Senate’s filibuster of a few extreme judicial nominees, Senate Republican leaders have stepped up partisan politicking, scheduling a 30-hour debate on three controversial nominees. PFAW is encouraging senators to hold the line against dangerous judges.

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