The administration’s judicial selection process is demonstrably focused on filling important appeals court seats with judicial nominees who share the states’ rights and right-wing judicial philosophies promoted by the Federalist Society and championed by Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. As the New York Times noted recently,
Filibustering Judge Owen's confirmation would send the Bush administration two important messages: the president must stop packing the courts with ideologues, and he must show more respect for the Senate's role.... It is not by chance that the Senate is being asked to confirm someone with these views. The White House has culled the legal profession to find nominees with aggressive conservative agendas. It is asking senators to approve, along with Judge Owen, Carolyn Kuhl, who was a strong supporter of maintaining the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University, which discriminated against blacks; Jeffrey Sutton, a lawyer who has severely set back the rights of the disabled; and James Leon Holmes, who has compared abortion to the Holocaust.
Neither the President nor Senate Republican leaders have spoken honestly with the American people about this goal or the extremely far-reaching consequences of their success for legal principles and protections that are important to Americans: privacy and reproductive choice, civil rights enforcement, environmental protection, worker and consumer safety and health, separation of church and state, and more.
It is urgent that senators slow the confirmation steamroller and make clear to the American people what is at stake before it is too late and we have lost basic rights, liberties, and legal protections we have counted on for more than half a century. Using the filibuster is both appropriate and necessary in order to preserve those protections as well as the constitutional framework that has made possible the social justice accomplishments of the last half century.