Fair and Just Courts

Stealth Judicial Nominee Miguel Estrada Barely Advances While Keeping Senate, Public In the Dark

In a party-line vote, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to recommend Senate approval of Miguel Estrada to a lifetime seat on the federal appeals court even though Senators and the public know very little about Estrada’s approach to judging – and what they do know is troubling.

Packing the Courts By Packing the Hearings

Breaking with a bipartisan agreement, dating to the 1980's the Senate Judicairy Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch held a single hearing to examine three controversial nominees to lifetime seats on the federal appeals courts, virtually guaranteeing that senators would not be able to conduct a thoughtful and thorough review of their records.

Opposition to Jeffrey Sutton's Nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Report of People For the American Way
in Opposition to the Confirmation of
Jeffrey Sutton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

PFAW Joins Hispanic Groups in Opposing Miguel Estrada's Confirmation

People For the American Way today joined the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund in opposing the confirmation of Miguel A. Estrada to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Senate Judiciary Committee Orrin Hatch has called for a vote on Estrada’s nomination on Thursday, January 30.

Right-Wing Legal Activists Sutton and Cook Set For Appeals Court Confirmation Hearings

People For the American Way today released detailed analyses of the records and legal philosophies of Jeffrey Sutton and Deborah Cook, among the first Bush administration appeals court nominees scheduled for confirmation hearings before the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee on January 29. PFAW urged Senators to examine carefully both nominees’ records and to protect Americans’ rights and liberties by refusing to confirm them to lifetime positions on the appeals court.

Why the Senate Judiciary Committee Was Right to Reject the Confirmation of Charles W. Pickering, Sr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

n March 14, 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected President Bush’s nomination of Mississippi federal district court judge Charles W. Pickering, Sr., championed by Senator Trent Lott, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Committee’s decision to reject Pickering’s lifetime elevation to the powerful Court of Appeals followed an exhaustive examination of Pickering’s record, scrutiny that produced disturbing conclusions. Pickering’s record, both before and since he became a judge, demonstrates insensitivity and hostility toward key legal principles protecting the civil and constitutional rights of minorities, women, and all Americans. As a judge, Pickering in a number of instances has allowed his own beliefs to trump his responsibility to follow the law. And his decisions as a judge have been reversed on a number of occasions by conservative appellate court judges for disregarding controlling precedent on constitutional rights and for improperly denying people access to the courts.

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