The courts of appeal play a critical role in our federal judicial system, second in importance only to the Supreme Court. Particularly because the Supreme Court hears so few cases, the protection of civil and constitutional rights by the judiciary depends in large measure on the appellate courts. Michael McConnell’s record as discussed above does not support his confirmation to the Tenth Circuit. Far from meeting the burden to demonstrate a record of commitment to the progress made on civil rights, women’s rights, and individual liberties, McConnell’s record shows hostility and opposition toward key principles and precedents that protect those rights and liberties, and his extreme views on the First Amendment would threaten religious freedom. We strongly urge that McConnell’s confirmation be rejected.