Pushing for Vote on Underqualified Ideologue Part of GOP Election-Year Politicking
Senate Republican leaders have scheduled a July 20 cloture vote on the appeals court nomination of William Myers, whose blatant use of his government position to undermine environmental protections and disregard the rights of Indian tribes has drawn unprecedented opposition and widespread editorial denunciation. People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said the push to confirm the underqualified ideologue to the federal appeals court reflects Republican leaders’ election-year strategy to manipulate the judicial confirmation process for political gain.
“William Myers is one of the least qualified and most problematic judicial nominees the Bush administration has brought forward,” said Neas. “It’s not that easy to stand out among Bush’s bad nominees, but Myers does.”
Among the many organizations opposing the Myers nomination are several Native American and environmental protection organizations that have never before taken a position on a federal judicial nominee.
Neas said Republican leaders are playing a cynical political game by pushing extremist nominees and then calling the expected resistance “obstructionism.” He predicted that the tactic would fail, especially in the case of Myers, whose extremism and highly questionable behavior as a public official have generated extraordinarily broad opposition to his confirmation.
“It’s hard to imagine that President Bush wants to make William Myers a poster child for his judicial nominations,” said Neas. “Myers has no judicial experience. His view of the appropriate role of government would roll back a half-century of progress on civil rights and social justice. He would dismantle environmental protections in favor of industry and lobbying concerns, and he shows an utter lack of respect for the rights of tribal peoples.”
Neas said Myers is a particularly bad choice for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which is home to millions of Native Americans and has jurisdiction over western states encompassing vast stretches of fragile federal lands.