President Bush has re-submitted 12 ultra-conservative nominees for the federal courts of appeals to the Senate, in a move guaranteed to provoke partisan strife. People For the American Way (PFAW) issued a nominee-by-nominee analysis of their records on key issues, and PFAW President Ralph G. Neas issued the following statement:
“Today, the President has chosen renewed, bitter partisan warfare on Capitol Hill. The renominations show absolutely no recognition that a deeply divided nation deserves bipartisan consultation over these powerful, lifetime appointments to the federal bench.
“This slate of nominees demonstrates that the President and his team want to pack the federal courts with right-wing ideologues. In fact, the Republican leadership may use one of these nominations to trigger the ‘nuclear option,’ and eliminate the last check and balance in the Senate for opposing ultra-conservative nominees who are out of step with mainstream Americans on both sides of the political aisle. And if the nuclear option succeeds now over a lower court nominee, when few Americans are paying attention, it will be too late to do anything about it when a Supreme Court vacancy occurs.
“If justices and judges like these are appointed, they will roll back decades of social justice progress. Say goodbye to a woman’s constitutional right to choose. Prepare for the steady erosion of treasured civil rights and freedom of expression. Watch them chop away at government’s ability to protect our clean air and clean water, and to shield workers and consumers from corporate abuses. The stakes could not be higher.”