At a news conference this afternoon addressing the nuclear option, African American Ministers in Action Chair Rev. Timothy McDonald made the following statement in response to claims that racism and sexism are behind opposition to the Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown nominations:
“I want to directly address some of the charges that have already been made by several prominent figures on the right and that may well be repeated by the ministers I know will be gathering later this afternoon to talk about Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown.
“The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said America should be a place where people were judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Unfortunately, some on the other side of this debate have failed to live up to that standard.
“Believe me: We know well that there are too few African Americans and too few women on the courts. We would like nothing more than to remedy this problem. But appointing judges who will use their powerful positions to issue rulings that hurt women and racial minorities will not solve the problem.
“The plain truth is that it is because we look beyond the color of Janice Rogers Brown’s skin—because we believe there is more to Priscilla Owen than her gender—that we must oppose their nominations. We have looked at their records, and we are deeply troubled. Theirs are the records of ideological and pro-corporate judges who will not give ordinary Americans a fair hearing. And far right nominees are a key reason that we oppose the nuclear option.”