Fair and Just Courts

Gop Turns Senate into Bush Campaign Auxiliary on Judges

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.

Partisan Push Advances Appeals Court Nominees McKeague and Griffin

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 Blocks Unfit Judicial Nominee William Myers

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.

William Myers: Unfit Judicial Nominee Pushed by Gop Leaders Despite Unprecedented Opposition

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.

Bush Photo Ops on Courts Miss the Real Picture

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.

Senate Confirms Holmes Nomination to Federal Court

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.

Leon Holmes Should Not be Confirmed to Federal Bench

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.

Supreme Court’s 2003-2004 Term Crucial to Constitution

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.

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

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.

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