Bad Bush Judges: An Overview of Bush Administration Judicial Nominees

Lower Court Nominees Opposed by PFAW 2001-2008

Claude Allen

Claude Allen

First Nominated: 4/28/2003

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit

What Happened: Claude Allen had a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee in October, 2003, but was never scheduled for a vote; his nomination lapsed at the end of the Congressional session, and he ws not renominated in 2005 when he received an appointment as a White House domestic policy advisor.

 

Terrence Boyle

Terrence Boyle

First Nominated: 5/9/2001

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit

What Happened: Terrence W. Boyle was renominated in January 2003 and again in February 2005 after his nomination lapsed at the end of the congressional session. He had a hearing in March 2005. He was one of the appellate court nominees sent back to the president in August 2006 and renominated in September 2006 and, because the Senate had adjourned, again in November 2006. His nomination was opposed due to positions taken during his tenure as a district court judge that threatened the civil rights of racial minorities, women, and the disabled; and due to his high number of reversals by the Court of Appeals. In 2006, it was reported that Boyle apparently had violated rules of judicial ethics several times while serving as a federal district judge. President Bush declined to renominate him after his nomination lapsed at the end of the congressional session.

 

Janice Rogers Brown

Janice Rogers Brown

First Nominated: 7/22/2003

Nominated to: Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit

Resources:

What Happened: Janice Rogers Brown was filibustered in the fall of 2003. She was then among the 12 appellate court nominees to be resubmitted by President Bush in February, 2005. Under the compromise on the filibuster, she received a vote and was confirmed 56-43.

 

Robert J. Conrad, Jr.

Robert J. Conrad, Jr.

First Nominated: 7/17/2007

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Resources:

What Happened: Nominated 7/17/2007; Nomination expired at the end of the 110th Congress

 

Deborah Cook

Deborah Cook

First Nominated:5/9/01

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit

What Happened: Deborah Cook was opposed due to postitions taken in her tenure as a state court judge, positions that threaten a number of constitutional and legal rights, particularly including those affecting workers and consumers, access to the courts, religious freedom, and public education. She was confirmed in May 2003 by a vote of 66-25.

 

Miguel Estrada

Miguel Estrada

First Nominated: 4/28/03

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit

What Happened: Miguel Estrada was filibustered in the spring of 2003; he then withdrew his name from consideration in September, 2003.

 

Richard Griffin

Richard Griffin

First Nominated: 5/15/2003

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit

What Happened:Richard Griffin was filibustered in the fall of 2003, largely as a result of the Senate Judiciary Chair’s disrespect of the ‘blue slip’ by home-state Michigan Senators - an established Senate precedent which allows for a Senator to put a hold on a troubling nominee to a court in his/her state. Griffin was then renominated in February, 2005, and confirmed after the compromise on the filibuster and after the Michigan Senators withdrew their objections.

 

Thomas B. Griffith

Thomas B. Griffith

First Nominated: 5/10/2004

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit

What Happened: Thomas Griffith was opposed due to a troubling record on discrimination and serious ethical lapses (including practicing law with a suspended license in D.C. and without a Utah license in Utah). He was confirmed in June, 2005 by a vote of 73-24.

 

Catharina Haynes

Catharina Haynes

First Nominated: 7/17/2007

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

What Happened: PFAW urged the Senate Judiciary Committee not to proceed with Haynes's nomination because of a lack of information about her record, including her record on civil rights, a matter of particular importance in the Fifth Circuit. Haynes had a hearing in February 2008 and was confirmed in April 2008.

 

William James Haynes II

William James Haynes II

First Nominated: 9/29/2003

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit

What Happened: William James Haynes II had his first hearing in November 2003. His nomination lapsed at the end of the congressional session, and he was renominated in February 2005. A second hearing was held for him in July 2006. He was one of the appellate court nominees sent back to the president in August 2006 and renominated in September 2006 and, because the Senate had adjourned, again in November 2006. Haynes received significant opposition due to his role as Department of Defense General Counsel in developing the Bush Administration’s policies concerning the detention and treatment of military detainees. He withdrew his name from consideration in January 2007.

 

J. Leon Holmes

J. Leon Holmes

First Nominated: 1/29/2003

Nominated to: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

What Happened: J. Leon Holmes was opposed due to record of fervent anti-abortion activism and his far-right beliefs about the roles of women. He was confirmed in March 2004 by a vote of 51-46.

 

Richard Honaker

Richard H. Honaker

First Nominated: 3/19/2007

Nominated to: U.S. District Court, Wyoming

Resources:

What Happened: Nominated 3/19/2007; Committee Hearing 2/12/2008; Nomination expired at the end of the 110th Congress

Related Materials:

 

Brett M. Kavanaugh

Brett M. Kavanaugh

First Nominated: 7/25/2003

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit

Status: Confirmed on 5/25/06

 

Peter D. Keisler

Peter D. Keisler

First Nominated: 6/29/2006

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit

Resources:

What Happened: Nominated 6/29/2006; Committee Hearing held 8/1/2006; Renominated 11/15/2006; Renominated 1/9/2007; Nomination expired at the end of the 110th Congress

 

Carolyn Kuhl

Carolyn Kuhl

First Nominated: 6/22/2001

Nominated to: Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

What Happened: Carolyn Kuhl was filibustered in November of 2003; she then withdrew her name from consideration in December, 2004, and was not renominated in 2005.

 

Steve A. Matthews

Steve A. Matthews

First Nominated: 9/6/2007

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Resources:

What Happened: Nominated 9/6/2007; Nomination expired at the end of the 110th Congress

 

David McKeague

David McKeague

First Nominated: 11/8/2001

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit

What Happened: David McKeague was filibustered in the fall of 2003, largely as a result of the Senate Judiciary Chair’s disrespect of the ‘blue slip’ by home-state Michigan Senators - an established Senate precedent which allows for a Senator to put a hold on a troubling nominee to a court in his/her state. McKeague was then renominated in February, 2005, and confirmed after the compromise on the filibuster and after the Michigan Senators withdrew their objections.

 

Michael McConnell

Michael McConnell

First Nominated: 5/9/01

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit

What Happened: Michael McConnell was opposed due to his legal philosophy which directly contradicts key principles and precedents that protect civil and constitutional rights. He was confirmed in November 2002.

 

William G. Myers III

William G. Myers III

First Nominated: 5/15/2003

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

What Happened: William G. Myers was renominated in February 2005 and had a hearing in March 2005. He was one of the appellate court nominees sent back to the president in August 2006 and renominated in September 2006 and, because the Senate had adjourned, again in November 2006. Among other reasons, Myers was opposed for repeatedly advancing the interests of grazing and mining industries at the expense of the environment and the rights of Native Americans and tribal governments. He withdrew his name from consideration in January 2007.

 

Priscilla Owen

Priscilla Owen

First Nominated: 5/9/2001

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

What Happened: Priscilla Owen was filibustered in the fall of 2003. She was then among the 12 appellate court nominees to be resubmitted by President Bush in February, 2005. Under the compromise on the filibuster, she received a vote and was confirmed 56-43.

 

Charles W. Pickering Sr.

Charles W. Pickering Sr.

First Nominated: 4/09/2003

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

What Happened: After being filibustered in the fall of 2003, Charles Pickering was given a recess appointment by President Bush in January, 2004. He stepped down in December 2004 when his appointment expired and was not renominated.

 

William H. Pryor, Jr.

William H. Pryor, Jr.

First Nominated: 4/09/2003

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit

What Happened: William Pryor was filibustered in the fall of 2003, but was given a temporary recess appointment by President Bush in February, 2004. He was among the 12 appellate court nominees to be resubmitted by President Bush in February, 2005. Under the compromise on the filibuster, he received a vote and was confirmed 53-45.

 

Henry Saad

Henry Saad

First Nominated: 11/08/2001

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit

Status: Filibustered, renominated and withdrew his name on March 23, 2006

 

Dennis Shedd

Dennis Shedd

First Nominated: 5/9/01

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit

What Happened: Dennis Shedd was opposed due to a record of hostility and insensitivity to the rights of minorities, women and people with disabilities. He was confirmed in November 2002 by a vote of 55-44.

 

D. Brooks Smith

D. Brooks Smith

First Nominated: 9/10/01

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit

What Happened: D. Brooks Smith was opposed due to his judicial philosophy and views on federalism, his record of troubling decisions and reversals, his membership in a discriminatory club and his lack of candor with the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was confirmed in July 2002 by a vote of 64-35.

 

Leslie Southwick

Leslie Southwick

First Nominated: 1/9/2007

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

What Happened: Leslie Southwick had a hearing in May 2007. His confirmation was opposed due to his disturbing record in connection with the rights of African Americans, gay Americans, and workers. He was confirmed in October 2007 by a 59-38 vote.

 

Jeffrey Sutton

Jeffery Sutton

First Nominated: 5/9/01

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit

What Happened: Jeffrey Sutton was opposed due to his extreme stance and prominent role in the “states’ rights” or “federalism” revolution that has already severely limited Congress’s ability to protect Americans from discrimination and other harm. He was confirmed in April 2003 by a vote of 52-41.

 

Michael B. Wallace

Michael B. Wallace

First Nominated: 2/8/2006

Nominated to: U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit

What Happened: Michael B. Wallace was one of the appellate court nominees sent back to the president in August 2006 and renominated in September 2006 and, because the Senate had adjourned, again in November 2006. He had a hearing in September 2006. Wallace was opposed due to his troubling record on civil rights and separation of powers, including his personal support for providing tax-exempt status to racially discriminatory schools, opposition to bipartisan legislation that restored the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act, efforts to undermine and abolish the Legal Services Corporation, and attempts to revive the defunct “non-delegation” doctrine that forbids Congress from delegating rule-making authority to regulatory agencies best suited to address various complex issues. The American Bar Association unanimously rated Wallace as “Not Qualified.” He withdrew his name from consideration in December 2006.

 

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