Judicial appointments

Bush Latest Judicial Appointee: A Corporate Exec Who Hasn't Practiced Law Since 1997
Judicial appointments

With all the fantastic, well-seasoned judges out there who are dedicated to the law, slogging away in the trenches, day in and day out, who does Bush appoint to a choice federal bench? A corporate exec who hasn't practiced law since 1997 and has never been a judge. AP: "Bush nominated telecommunications executive Paul Crotty on Tuesday to be a U.S. district judge in the Southern District of New York. If confirmed by the Senate, Crotty would replace Harold Baer Jr., who is retiring. Since 1997, Crotty has been group vice president for Verizon Communications for public policy and external affairs for New York and Connecticut. From 1994 to 1997, Crotty was a corporate counsel in New York. Before that, he worked four years in various positions at the New York City Office of Financial Services." In short, underqualified as a judge - but amply qualified as a corporate "fixer."

Bush Nominee to Court of Appeals Has No Law License in Home State and Hasn't Actually Practiced Law in Years
Judicial appointments

AP: " Bush's choice for a judgeship recently regained his license to practice law in Washington, D.C., but lacks a law license in Utah, where he provides legal counsel to Brigham Young University. Thomas B. Griffith, nominated last month for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C Circuit, lost his Washington license for not paying bar association dues." He since retrieved the license - but the man never passed the bar exam in Utah! To get around this, Griffith just lets other people in his office do his work (no wonder Bush likes him!). "As general counsel, "much of what Mr. Griffith does is not involved in the practice of law" said BYU spokeswoman." Just great! A federal judge who lost his license in his own state and hasn't actually practiced law in years! His real Bush "credentials"? An association with a religious-affiliated college (BYU is Mormon).

Bush's Latest Judicial Nominee Sanctioned the Abuse at Abu Ghraib
Judicial appointments

Common Dreams: "People For the American Way called on pResident Bush to withdraw the appeals court nomination of William Haynes, the Defense Department General Counsel who signed off on the administration's detention policies and contributed to the catastrophic lack of oversight of prisoner treatment in Abu Ghraib prison. Says PFAW Pres. Ralph G. Neas: " Haynes has been an architect and defender of policies that flout the rule of law, reject meaningful judicial oversight for American enemy combatants, and reject any redress at all for foreign detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. Someone whose record reflects such disdain for constitutional principles and American values should not be given the power to make decisions about our constitutional rights and liberties for decades to come."

Bush Nominee to Top Fed Court Is Grossly Underqualified
Judicial appointments

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is one of the nation's most critically important courts, one that hears cases involving federal regulations. In short, it is a court whose decisions affect early all Americans. Because a majority of cases are brought by corporations and their army of slick, high-powered lawyers, this court requires a maximum amount of legal expertise. Yet Bush's nominee to the court, Brett Kavanaugh has been a lawyer for only 13 years, and has never even been involved in a trial. PFAW reports: "Of the ten cases he reported as his 'most significant', in two he did nothing more than file friend of the court briefs. In one case, Kavanaugh filed a brief before the Supreme Court arguing for a ruling that would have left public school students vulnerable to a range of coercive religious practices." This is how flagrantly little Bush thinks the American public deserves in the way of quality of justice!

Planned Parenthood Condemns Appointment of Rightwinger William Pryor
Judicial appointments

"Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) [has] denounced Bush's recess appointment of William H. Pryor Jr. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. 'Bush is once again demonstrating his blatant disregard for the democratic process and the American people,' said Gloria Feldt, president of PPFA. 'William H. Pryor Jr. is an extremist ideologue whose views are dangerously out of step with those of mainstream America. This is the second time in just over a month that the President has circumvented the legislative process to install a judge whose contempt for women's health is a menace to us all.' Senate Democrats had repeatedly blocked Pryor's appointment, but as a recess appointee Pryor will sit on the court at least until the next Congressional session begins in January of 2005."

Oppose Judicial Nominee William Myers
Judicial appointments

"Please urge your senators to block the nomination of former Interior Solicitor William Myers to a lifetime seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which decides the fate of environmental safeguards for nine Western states. William Myers has spent his career representing industry special interests and seeking to overturn vital safeguards for the environment and Native Americans. Unfortunately, his record indicates that he would not be the kind of fair and impartial judge necessary to preserve the integrity of our federal courts."

Will Dems Summon their Outrage over Bush's MLK Birthday Bash?
Judicial appointments

David Podvin writes, "When George W. Bush appointed segregationist Charles Pickering to a federal appeals court just one day after laying a wreath at the grave of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he presented the Democratic Party with a golden opportunity to rectify the mistake that was so costly two years ago. The Democrats lost the 2002 congressional elections in large part because they neglected the concerns of black voters who are essential to the party's success... Bush provided Democrats with the chance to energize their base of support, lay the foundation for an essential attack on his character, appeal to swing voters, and demonstrate the backbone necessary to govern during dangerous times. What remains to be seen is whether the Democratic Party will recognize the opportunity and summon the resolve to act upon it."

Dictator Bush 'Installs' Judge Pickering - Impeach Bush Now!
Judicial appointments

"Bush sidestepped Congress on Friday and installed Mississippi judge Charles Pickering to the federal appeals court after a two-year battle filled with racial, religious and regional argument. Bush elevated Pickering by recess appointment, simply putting him in office while Congress was out of session. Such appointments, bypassing confirmation, are valid until the next Congress takes office, in this case in January 2005. Bush's action will re-ignite the battle between Republicans and Democrats over the direction of the federal courts, a fight already sure to be intense this year because of the presidential election... He was being sworn in Jackson, Miss., Friday night. '[Bush's] recess appointment of this anti-civil rights judge the day after laying a wreath on the grave of Martin Luther King is an insult to Dr. King, an insult to every African-American, and an insult to all Americans who share Dr. King's great goals,' said Sen. Edward Kennedy." Impeach Bush Now!

Senator Leahy's Web Page on Judicial Nominees.
Judicial appointments

"The Constitution requires that the President seek the Senate's advice and consent in making appointments to the federal courts. As a senator and as the Democratic leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I take this responsibility very seriously." said Sen. Leahy... "While unemployment rates go up, the number of impoverished goes up, the number of uninsured goes up, the budget deficit goes up, the national debt goes up, but the number of vacancies is dropping... The Senate has only blocked 3.5 percent of President Bush's judicial nominees. This is compared to the Senate, under Republican control, blocking 20 percent of President Clinton's judicial nominees."

Filibuster Hypocrisy: Numbers Don't Lie
Judicial appointments

Berkshire Eagle writes, "In 3 years of Bush's residency, the Senate has confirmed 168 of 174 judicial nominations. That's a 96.5% success rate. Compare that to President Clinton's 248-63 record with a GOP Congress, a success rate of only 80%. Many of Mr. Clinton's nominees didn't even get a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, then chaired by the same Senator Orrin Hatch who now waxes so eloquent about the Dems' misuse of the filibuster and their supposed racism, sexism and religious bias for refusing to confirm GOP judicial activists who happen also to be women, blacks, Catholics and Hispanics. That the Dems have seen fit to block only six of 174 nominees looks more like restraint, or even acquiescence, than obstructionism."

Democrats Prevail in Blocking Senate Vote on Pickering
Judicial appointments

NY Times reports: "Senate Democrats succeeded again today in blocking the elevation of Judge Charles W. Pickering Sr. to a federal appeals court, thus prolonging a two-year drama with elements of history, race relations and bare-knuckle politics. The Senate voted, 54 to 43, to end a parliamentary delay by Democrats and move on to the nomination itself. However, Senate rules require 60 votes to end such a delay, or filibuster, so Judge Pickering's nomination remains stalled."

Orrin Hatch, Stunt Man
Judicial appointments

From the Freedom Rider Blog: "Despicable! Americans dying in Iraq five months after the mission was supposedly accomplished? Outrageous! Workers losing their livelihoods because their jobs have been sent to India? Offensive! Disparities in drug sentencing that give Limbaugh rehab for using and distributing but 65-year old Tommy Chong jail time and a fine for selling bongs? The hyperbole is not directed at any of these situations, but at a political cartoon. During [last week's] Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Senator Orrin Hatch used theatrics to throw Democrats off stride during Janice Rogers Brown's confirmation hearing by using a cartoon from blackcommentator.com. Read Black Commentator's article on the hearing fireworks and on Judge Brown's scary background. If you have a media player you can see the two and a half hour hearing on C-Span. The anti-cartoon demagoguery starts almost at the very beginning of the hearing."

EVERY Senator Should Reject Janice Rogers Brown
Judicial appointments

NY Times opines, "Of the many unworthy judicial nominees Bush has put forward, Janice Rogers Brown is among the very worst. As an archconservative justice on the California Supreme Court, she has declared war on the mainstream legal values that most Americans hold dear. And she has let ideology be her guide in deciding cases. At her confirmation hearing this week, Justice Brown only ratified her critics' worst fears. Both Republican and Democratic senators should oppose her confirmation... Bush, who promised as a candidate to be a 'uniter, not a divider,' has selected the most divisive judicial nominees in modern times. The Senate should help the resident keep his campaign promise by insisting on a more unifying alternative than Justice Brown."

Dems Win! Miguel Estrada Withdraws after Senate Filibuster
Judicial appointments

Miguel "Estrada was nominated more than two years ago to a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, widely regarded as second in importance to the US Supreme Court. The Republican Party had hoped to make him the first Hispanic judge on that bench, and regarded him as a strong candidate to become the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court... But Democratic opponents said Mr. Estrada... was part of Bush's plan to tilt the courts far to the right. Critics said he was too inexperienced to be a judge, that he had put too few of his views in the public record, and that his philosophy remained largely a mystery, particularly on such controversial issues as abortion and civil liberties. At his confirmation hearings last fall, critics said, Mr. Estrada stonewalled and was unusually reticent for a nominee, saying he could not discuss some well-known cases because he had not read the briefs or heard the oral arguments." The filibuster worked - Go Dems!!!

Way to Go! Senate Dems Block Rightwing Extremists from Judgeships -- Pryor, Owen and Estrada
Judicial appointments

"Senate Republicans on Thursday lost their third attempt this week to push one of... Bush's judicial nominees through the Senate, with Democrats blocking conservative Alabama Attorney General William Pryor from the U.S. Appeals Court. Pryor could not get the 60 votes needed from the 100-member Senate to win a seat on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, leading Republicans to immediately denounce the third Democratic filibuster this week... Democrats also have blocked Texas judge Priscilla Owen and District of Columbia lawyer Miguel Estrada from being confirmed this week. Democrats say Hatch rushed Pryor's confirmation vote before they could finish an investigation into his fund-raising activities for a GOP attorneys general group. Pryor also is an ardent opponent of abortion rights for women, and has criticized the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. But he has said he will follow the current law if confirmed for the regional courts, one step below the Supreme Court."

Orwellian Republicans Try to Scrub History of GOP Judicial Filibusters
Judicial appointments

PFAW writes, "Recent assertions by Sen. Orrin Hatch, C. Boyden Gray, and other Bush administration allies that there was no real filibuster against the Supreme Court nomination of Abe Fortas in 1968 are clearly and demonstrably false. Republican Senate leaders continue to call the use of the Senate filibuster rules against Bush nominees both unprecedented and unconstitutional, even though the historical record is clear that both parties have conducted filibusters against judicial nominees over the decades... Cloture motions were filed and cloture votes held on 14 appeals court nominations from 1980 to 2000... Until recent days, even Sen. Hatch had acknowledged that there had been a filibuster against the Supreme Court nomination of Abe Fortas. But now, remarkably, he and his allies are trying to create a new historical record out of whole cloth so they can assert, wrongly, that no judges have been blocked by filibusters. Unfortunately for them, the facts are well documented. "

Orrin Hatch LIES About Anti-Catholic Bias As He Railroads William Pryor Through Judiciary Committee
Judicial appointments

"On a party line vote and over the strenuous objections of Democratic senators, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent the appeals court nomination of William Pryor to the Senate floor in a meeting notable for Republican senators' continued false claims of religious bias against Catholic judicial nominees and Senator Hatch's refusal to abide by clear committee rules. 'Hatch and his colleagues should be ashamed of their unconscionable behavior today,' said People For the American Way President Ralph Neas. 'Objections to Bill Pryor's confirmation are broad and deep and grounded in his legal philosophy and his record as a public official. It is irresponsible and divisive for Sen. Hatch or anyone else to try to mischaracterize that opposition as grounded in religious bigotry. This is demagoguery at its worst.' Neas urged the full Senate and Bush to officially repudiate charges of religious bias that falsely suggest that Catholic nominees are being opposed because of their religious beliefs."

Judicial Nominee William Pryor Shook the Money Tree
Judicial appointments

NY Times opines, "Senate hearings on Bush's judicial nominees have stumbled upon another slippery rock in the fetid landscape of politicians' soliciting corporate America for big-money campaign donations. Turning the rock over, we have something called the Republican Attorneys General Association, whose ranking members in at least six states - the people's lawyers, keep in mind - have been personally begging for donations from corporate leaders in the very fields entrusted to the public officials. Donors from banking, insurance, liquor, computers and more have ponied up hundreds of thousands of dollars for the attorneys general's campaign fund since 1999... 'Shakedown' is too inexact a word for this political babbittry. Mr. Pryor's breezy defense of the money-raising is at least as objectionable as, say, his strong views opposing abortion and gay rights."

We Don't Need No Stinking Checks-and-Balances: Republicans on Senate Committee Vote to Neuter Filibusters
Judicial appointments

From Reuters: "With a possible US Supreme Court fight looming, only Republicans showed up yesterday as a Senate committee voted to ease filibuster rules in an attempt to end Democratic procedural roadblocks against [Dictator] Bush's judicial nominees. On a voice vote, all 10 Republicans on the Senate Rules Committee sent to the full Senate for consideration a proposal that would ultimately allow a simple majority of the chamber to clear a nominee for a confirmation vote. Currently, 60 of the 100 senators must agree to end a filibuster, which allows for unlimited debate, and move to confirmation. Republicans control the Senate with 51 lawmakers. Yet Democrats have filibustered two of Bush's circuit court nominees and threaten to block more, including any Supreme Court nominee they consider to be a right-wing extremist... Senate Democrats have promised to deny Republicans the needed two-thirds vote by the full Senate to change the chamber's filibuster rule."

Rebuffing Daschle's Wimpy Olive-Branch Gesture, Bush to Nominate Ex-Starr Aide to Appeals Court
Judicial appointments

WashPost reports: "Bush plans to nominate White House lawyer Brett M. Kavanaugh, an author of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's report on President Bill Clinton, for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit... The disclosure came as Bush issued a curt rejection to Democratic senators who had offered to alleviate a fight over a future Supreme Court vacancy by working with him to find a nominee both sides could accept. Kavanaugh's nomination would suggest Bush is spoiling for a fight with Senate Democrats... The D.C. Circuit court is considered the second most powerful in the land. Kavanaugh, 38, was involved in many of the Clinton administration's legal controversies, and has played a key role in choosing Bush's judicial nominees... Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) wrote to Bush on Tuesday to recommend that the president convene a meeting of Senate leaders 'to begin a bipartisan process of consultation.'"

Bush Nominee William Pryor Calls Roe v. Wade 'The Worst Abomination Of The History Of Constitutional Law'
Judicial appointments

PentaPost reports, "William H. Pryor Jr., the attorney general of Alabama, was nominated for a lifetime seat on the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Senate aides from both parties said he has perhaps the most controversial views of any nominee who has come up for confirmation during Bush's presidency. Unlike many nominees, Pryor did not try to obscure his views on abortion at his Judiciary Committee hearing. He was asked several times about his past assertions that Roe v. Wade 'is an abominable decision' and 'the worst abomination of the history of constitutional law.' Pryor, who noted his Catholic faith, said he still believes that. 'I believe that not only is the case unsupported by the text and structure of the Constitution, but it has led to a morally wrong result,' he said. 'It has led to the slaughter of millions of innocent unborn children. That's my personal belief.'" Reject William Pryor!

Whitewater Investigator Chertoff Confirmed as Judge
Judicial appointments

From Reuters: "A one-time congressional investigator of Bill and Hillary Clinton's Arkansas land deals won Senate confirmation on Monday as a federal appeals court judge, with the former first lady casting the lone vote against him. Michael Chertoff, who has served the past two years as an assistant U.S. attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's criminal division, won the votes of 88 senators... A decade ago, Chertoff was Republican counsel to the Senate Whitewater investigation, which examined Clinton land dealings in Arkansas. The probe found no criminal wrongdoing against the Clintons themselves in the Whitewater dealings... But it helped lead to the appointment of a special prosecutor and a broader investigation, which resulted in the impeachment of then President Bill Clinton in 1998 on charges stemming from his affair with a White House intern." Ultimately, the Independent Counsel also found no wrongdoing in Whitewater, Travelgate and Filegate.

Frist Pushes to Curb Filibusters - In the Quest for Totalitarianism
Judicial appointments

WashPost reports: "Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's proposal to curb filibusters aimed at blocking judicial nominations prompted a passionate debate yesterday over constitutional principles and practical politics, even though there is widespread agreement that his plan is probably doomed... Under his proposal, judicial nominees eventually would be guaranteed an up-or-down vote by a simple majority. Several Democrats accused Republicans of using the issue to expand Bush's powers at the expense of the Senate and contended that the whole balance of powers would suffer as a result. Extended debate was anticipated by the Constitution's drafters and is useful in producing compromise, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) argued. 'Senators are lining up to sacrifice the independence of the Senate to the pleasure of the White House,' Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) said."

A Judge, a Renomination and the Cross-Burning Case Without End
Judicial appointments

NY Times reports: "In March 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along strict party lines to reject Judge Pickering's nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, after the Democrats, who were then in the majority, called his record on racial issues troubling. Mr. Bush, arguing that Judge Pickering had been treated unfairly, has renominated him. Senate and White House officials said recently that Judge Pickering would go before the committee in early June to be questioned about his record and the cross-burning case. During the trial and a series of heated sentencing hearings, Judge Pickering denounced the cross burning as a heinous and despicable act. He also referred to it at times as simply a drunken and foolish prank. Judge Pickering also undertook an extraordinary effort to reduce the sentence of Mr. Swan, the only one of the three defendants who did not plead guilty and who was convicted at trial."

Stalinist Busheviks Trying to Gut Dems Ability to Filibuster Far Right Judicial Nominations
Judicial appointments

TheHill.com reports: "Senate Republicans are split on forcing a change of filibuster rules that have prevented the Senate from voting on two of Resident Bush's judicial nominees. Nevertheless, a number of GOP lawmakers seem undaunted by a parliamentary maneuver that could permanently change the nature of the Senate... Frist confirmed Tuesday he and other Republican leaders are weighing three options for breaking the Democratic filibuster of Resident Bush's judicial nominees. One of the options is to ban the filibuster of judicial nominees through a rare parliamentary maneuver that has become known as the 'nuclear option.' However, Frist said he would prefer a second option, which would be to formally change Senate rules through the Rules Committee... A third option, put forth by two freshman Republicans, Sens. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), is to file a lawsuit against the Senate challenging the Democratic filibuster of judicial nominees on constitutional grounds."

The Reality of the Judicial 'Crisis'
Judicial appointments

From a NY Times Editorial: "Resident Bush got it wrong last week when he blamed Senate Democrats for the impasse over his judicial nominees. And he started down a risky path when he urged the Senate to abandon its longstanding rule permitting filibusters of judicial nominations. The reason his nominees have met with resistance is not Democratic intransigence or a flawed rule. It is that many are far-right ideologues whose views offend most Americans. There is only one way to end the deadlock: compromise... Bush misstated the record when he declared in the Rose Garden that a 'small group' of Democrats is blocking his judicial nominees. In a vote on a controversial nominee earlier this month, Republicans mustered only 52 votes in the 100-member Senate to end a filibuster. The reason Bush nominees are having trouble is that a large number of senators, who represent many millions of Americans, find their views offensive."

The Road to Dictatorship: Bush and Frist Try to Gut the Filibuster
Judicial appointments

"Unable to break Democratic filibusters against a pair of Resident Bush's judicial choices, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Friday proposed changing Senate rules to restrict the use of parliamentary tactics to block nominations. Resident Bush... deplored the delays in seating his choices for the federal bench, saying the current Senate process was 'a disgrace.' But Democrats defended their right to oppose nominations they feel stray too far from the American mainstream and made clear that they would not allow a change in rules that would weaken that right... Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont...said ... Republicans were crying 'crocodile tears' and that it was not the job of the Senate to rubber-stamp the wishes of a resident who 'obviously wants a court-packing scheme that would make the federal courts a branch of the Republican Party'.. Leahy said that while the Senate has confirmed 124 of 126 Bush nominees, Republicans prevented 60 Clinton nominees from ever coming to a vote."

The Facts on the Bush Judicial Nominations
Judicial appointments

The facts on the Bush judicial nominations. The number of Bush circuit court nominees the Senate has confirmed: 22. The number of Bush nominees confirmed to the district courts: 101. The number of Bush judicial nominees currently being filibustered: 2. The claim that Democrats are being obstructionist: priceless. And laughable.

Democrats Block Priscilla Owens from Judgeship
Judicial appointments

MSNBC reports: "Senate Democrats blocked Priscilla Owen, an associate justice on the Texas Supreme Court, from being confirmed to a federal appeals court Thursday, the second time they have thwarted President Bush and majority Republicans in a confrontation over federal judgeships."

Bush Pick for Appeals Court Called Gays 'Queers'
Judicial appointments

Lou Chibbaro Jr writes for the Houston Voice: "Bush this week nominated Claude A. Allen, a supporter of conservative former Sen. Jesse Helms, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Maryland and Virginia. Allen, 42, becomes the eighth federal judicial nominee named by Bush to hold views considered hostile to gay civil rights, according to the Alliance for Justice, a progressive watchdog group that monitors judicial appointments... In 1984, he served as press secretary for the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), considered one of the strongest opponents of gay civil rights among all members of Congress at the time. Helms and his supporters attacked then-Gov. James Hunt, Helms' Democratic opponent, for receiving campaign support from gays. According to the National Journal, when Hunt responded by saying Helms was being backed by right-wing radicals, an angered Allen replied that Hunt had links 'with the queers.'"

Sutton Approved by Senate Despite Protests from Disabled Advocates
Judicial appointments

AP reports: "The Senate on Tuesday approved a former Ohio solicitor general for a seat on the U.S. Appeals Court despite protests from disabled persons who say Jeff Sutton worked to curtail their rights. By a 52-41 vote, Sutton was approved for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which handles appeals from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Michigan. The vote came after about 150 disabled activists crowded into a room at the U.S. Capitol and urged lawmakers to vote against Sutton. 'I need you out there reminding every senator who you see ... a vote for Jeffrey Sutton is a vote to undo the Americans with Disability Act,' Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told the cheering crowd."

Body Snatchers Get to Jorge Rangel - Blocked Clinton Nominee Urges Confirmation of Pickering
Judicial appointments

"A Hispanic lawyer who was nominated to a federal appeals court by President Clinton but blocked by Republicans is urging Senate Democrats to confirm Mississippi Judge Charles Pickering to the same court despite accusations of racial insensitivity. Texas lawyer Jorge Rangel called for the confirmation of Pickering, a U.S. District Court judge, for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in an April letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. His appeal comes as Republicans prepare to step up pressure on Democrats to stop blocking President Bush's judicial nominations when the Senate resumes work Monday. Rangel often is offered as an example by Democrats that Republicans used the same tactics when a Democrat was making the nominations."

Another Unworthy Judicial Nominee - NYT Editorial
Judicial appointments

"Carolyn Kuhl, a nominee to the US Court of Appeals...seems to have undergone a classic confirmation conversion. As a lawyer and as a CA state court judge, she advocated objectionable positions on civil rights, abortion and privacy. But at her confirmation hearings, she backpedaled furiously. Her testimony may have been tactically shrewd, but it failed to allay serious concerns...The Senate should not confirm her. Judge Kuhl started out as a hard-driving conservative lawyer in the Reagan administration. When the I.R.S. denied tax-exempt status to Bob Jones University, which discriminated against blacks, she played a key role in persuading the Justice Department to take Bob Jones's side. In a landmark 1983 decision the Supreme Court rejected her position, 8 to 1. Judge Kuhl also argued forcefully for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. And she was co-author of a brief backing the defendant in a landmark sexual harassment case. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected its conclusion."

Senate Dems Wearing Down Republicans over Bush's Far Right Judges
Judicial appointments

Bob Novak writes: "Senate Republicans are tiring of the battle to confirm contested judicial nominees, indicating that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's Democratic plan to prevent Resident Bush from shaping the federal judiciary is succeeding. Weekly meetings of Republican senators produce increased grumbling. The senators ask the White House and the Republican leadership why they should keep fighting to confirm as appellate judges Washington, D.C., lawyer Miguel Estrada and Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen... Kennedy's unprecedented plan to block Bush's judicial selections always has been based on the theory that Republican senators soon would tire of the struggle." Unprecedented? Hey Novak, don't you remember how Orrin Hatch and the GOP blocked Clinton's nominations? What about Paul Weyrich's Judicial Selection Monitoring Project that specifically lobbied against Clinton's judicial picks?

Bush Judicial Nominee Compares Rape-Induced Pregnancies to 'Snowflakes in Miami'
Judicial appointments

Bush has nominated James Leon Holmes, former president of Arkansas Right to Life [sic], for a seat on the Federal District Court in Little Rock. As if that itself isn't a disqualification, in 1980 Dr. Holmes minimized concerns about the effect on rape victims of a proposed constitutional amendment banning abortion. 'Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami,' he wrote in a letter to the editor of a newspaper then. And in an article he wrote in 1982, Dr. Holmes compared the abortion rights movement to the Nazis. 'The pro-abortionists counsel us to respond to these problems by abandoning what little morality our society still recognizes,' he wrote. 'This was attempted by one highly sophisticated, historically Christian nation in our century - Nazi Germany.'" Republicans have temporarily delayed his nomination - call your Senators at 202-224-3121 and say NO WAY to James Leon Holmes!

Senate Dems May Filibuster Priscilla Owen Nomination
Judicial appointments

AP reports, "Senate Democrats refused on Tuesday to clear the way for a confirmation vote on Bush 's nomination of Priscilla Owen, a conservative Texas Supreme Court justice, to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans... Republicans asked Democrats on Tuesday to agree to six or 10 more hours of debate before holding a vote. After Democrats objected to both offers, Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) asked 'if any number of additional hours would be sufficient.' 'There is not a number in the universe that would be sufficient,' replied Senate Democratic Whip Harry Reid of Nevada... [Tom] Daschle said Democrats needed an unspecified amount of time to make their case against Owen. 'There are very, very deep concerns,' Daschle told reporters." You go, Dems!

Bush Wants Ban on Judicial Filibusters - ROTFL!
Judicial appointments

CNN reports: "Bush, his appeals court nomination of Miguel Estrada mired in party politics, called Tuesday for a ban on judicial filibusters and a mandatory vote on all court nominations he and future presidents send to the Senate." This is a proposal so laughable that it really deserves a good roll on the floor! Can anyone imagine for one nanosecond that Republican Senators under a Democratic President would ever honor such a proposal? Fuggeddabouttit!! Here's our counter-proposal to Bush - if you re-nominate all of the Clinton-Gore judges that Republicans blocked, and speed their confirmation through the Senate, then call us back and we'll talk. Until then - ye shall reap as ye have sown.

Dem Filibuster Blocks Estrada for Now, but Bush Vows Confirmation
Judicial appointments

Needing only 40 votes to sustain their filibuster, Dems rallied 44 votes against Miguel Estrada's nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The only defectors were Bill Nelson (FL), Ben Nelson (NE), Zell Miller (GA) and John Breaux (LA). This crucial battle was led by Senators Tom Daschle (SD), Harry Reid (NV), Pat Leahy (VT), Charles Schumer (NY), Ted Kennedy (MA), and Richard Durbin (IL) - our heartfelt thanks to all! Bush immediately put out a statement calling today's vote "a disgrace." "I will stand by Miguel Estrada's side until he is sworn in as a judge," Bush said. Hey George, didn't you promise to be a "uniter, not a divider"?

Pro-Big Business Deborah Cook is the Typical Bush Judicial Nominee - So Watch Out
Judicial appointments

Adam Cohen writes, "Deborah Cook, a 51-year-old onetime corporate lawyer from Akron, Ohio, may actually be the most utterly typical of the Bush administration's judicial nominees. Which is why, based on her judicial record, we should all be very worried about the future of the federal courts. In eight years on the Ohio Supreme Court, Justice Cook has been a steady voice against injured workers, discrimination victims and consumers...Often she reaches for a harsh legal technicality to send a hapless victim home empty-handed...The Bush administration has a long list of Deborah Cooks - nominees who are not stirring controversy, but who will radically reshape the federal judiciary for a generation. The administration is loading the courts with judges who rule in favor of discriminating companies, abusive bosses and employers who injure their workers and lie about it. And it is counting on the rest of us not to notice."

White House Cooked ABA Approval for Estrada
Judicial appointments

Media Whores Online reports: "The Bush Administration is reeling today from the revelation of a major new ethics and judiciary scandal concerning the nomination of stealth appellate court candidate Miguel Estrada. The supposedly non-partisan lawyer who recommended Miguel Estrada's 'well qualified' rating from the American Bar Association, turns out to be an extremely partisan right-wing Republican, Newsday reports. The lawyer, Fred F. Fielding, worked for the Bush-Cheney transition team to vet potential judiciary nominations, has received a huge patronage plum appointment from the Bush White House, and has joined Bush family consigliere C. Boyden Gray in a right-wing funded, highly partisan effort to propagandize on behalf of Estrada and other Bush judicial nominees."

Democrats Start Filibuster of Estrada Nomination
Judicial appointments

WashPost's Helen Dewar writes, "Senate Democrats, brushing aside a personal appeal from Bush, vowed today to delay a vote on the judicial nomination of Miguel Estrada until they receive more information about his legal views. In a major escalation of the increasingly bitter partisan fight over Bush's judgeship choices, Democrats announced they had enough votes to block an immediate vote on nomination of the conservative Hispanic attorney to the U.S. Court of Appeals for DC. While stopping short of saying they would kill the nomination, they said they would filibuster... until Estrada more fully answers questions about his legal views and the Bush administration provides memoranda he wrote while he worked in the office of the solicitor general in the Justice Department... 'Until that information is provided, we will not be in a position to allow a vote to come to the Senate floor,' Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) said." You GO, Tom!

Tell Your Senators to Filibuster the Estrada Nomination!
Judicial appointments

People for the American Way writes, "Because Miguel Estrada refused to answer important questions about his judicial philosophy and the Bush adminstration declined to release Justice Department briefs written by Estrada, senators know little about this nominee. Estrada's nomination is being considered by the full Senate, so we must encourage progressive Senators to mount a filibuster against the nomination. If one or both of your Senators is a target, you will find your state on the menu to the right. These Senators may be sent an automated fax right through our website with just a couple clicks of the mouse. Sen. Feinstein of California admitted that her vote against Estrada in the Judiciary Committee was fueled by massive public input. Taking action really works and we need you now!"

Steamrolling Judicial Nominees
Judicial appointments

NY Times opines, "Republicans on the Judiciary Committee held a single hearing last week for three controversial appeals court nominees. There was no way... for senators to consider each nominee with care. A fourth nominee had a hearing yesterday, and a fifth is likely to have one next week. During the Clinton years, the committee took six months or more to consider the number of appeals court nominees this committee is hearing from in two weeks. The nominees being whisked through all have records that cry out for greater scrutiny. Jeffrey Sutton is a leading states' rights advocate who in 2001 persuaded the Supreme Court to rule against a nurse with breast cancer on the ground that the Americans With Disabilities Act does not apply to state employers. Deborah Cook regularly sides, as a state judge, with corporations. In one case she maintained that a worker whose employer lied to him about his exposure to dangerous chemicals should not be able to sue for his injuries."

Did Estrada Lie to Senate about Abortion Views - Just Like Clarence Thomas?
Judicial appointments

When Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas testified before the Senate in 1991, he claimed he had no views on Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion in 1973. Of course Thomas was lying through his teeth, and he immediately joined Antonin Scalia as an advocate for overturning Roe and outlawing all abortions. Now Miguel Estrada is playing the same game. He admits: "I have a personal view on the subject of -- of abortion, as I think you know." But then he says he has never evaluated Roe v. Wade - "whether it was right or wrong as a matter of law." As Joshua Micah Marshall points out, this is probably a lie, given Estrada's job as a clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy in 1988 when Roe was being challenged. As Bush said, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again!"

Democrats Plan Filibuster of Estrada Nomination
Judicial appointments

Fox News reports, "On Wednesday, Kennedy told his Democratic colleagues, 'If we allow a stealth right-winger on this court, we have only ourselves to blame. We must filibuster Miguel Estrada's nomination. The White House is almost telling us that they plan to nominate him to the Supreme Court. We can't repeat the mistake we made with [Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas.' Democrats say his nomination is one that should be stopped for several reasons, not the least of which is their opinion that the base is 'particularly energized' over the issue. Democrats also argue that not to do so would set a precedent permitting Republicans to 'force through all future controversial nominees' without answering senators' questions or providing important information. They also say that it will be much harder to defeat Estrada for a Supreme Court seat if his confirmation goes smoothly now.' Just say NO to right wing judges! (http://democrats.com/judges)

Bush Nominates Iraqgate Criminal to Appeals Court
Judicial appointments

NY Times reports, "Jay S. Bybee has been nominated by Bush to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco. When Mr. Bybee was an associate White House counsel in the first Bush administration, he called a federal prosecutor in Atlanta at least twice in 1989 to ask about an investigation she was conducting of loans, which were backed by federal agricultural loan guarantees, that an Italian bank's Atlanta office made to Iraq. In 1992, when the calls were disclosed publicly, Mr. Bybee denied trying to influence the inquiry, which was investigating reports that senior Iraqi officials were involved in a multibillion-dollar bank fraud and had used some of the money to build Baghdad's huge military arsenal... Justice Department officials who reviewed the matter at the time said Mr. Bybee had apparently violated a policy requiring such White House inquiries to be made through the department, to avoid the appearance of trying to influence a prosecutor."

Was the Federalist Society's Miguel Estrada One of the Get-Clinton 'Elves'?
Judicial appointments

MediaWhoresOnline writes, "During the partisan drive to oust President Clinton, a group of right-wing lawyers - dubbed by one of their number, Ann Coulter, as the 'elves' -- worked day and night to bypass the law and bring down the president. Aside from Coulter, one of the chief elves was George Conway, a former associate of Estrada's at Wachtell, Lipton. Last Friday, Coulter not only acknowledged that she and Estrada were good friends [but also] had contacts, with Estrada giving her ideas, correcting her errors, and sending her 'stuff.' In 1998, Estrada was... a high-profile litigator at one of the nation's right-wing law firms of choice, headed by Ted Olson, late of the Arkansas Project. He knew at least two of the 'elves,' Ann Coulter and his ex-colleague George Conway. Was Estrada involved with the 'elves'...? Ann Coulter knows the answer to that question, as does George Conway. But they have, highly suspiciously, clammed up about Estrada, Coulter most visibly on national TV."

Miguel Estrada Was a 'Lead Partner' in Bush v. Gore and the Stolen Election
Judicial appointments

Joshua Micah Marshall writes, "Washington is all abuzz over the nomination of Miguel Estrada to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The intensity of interest stems, in part, from the fact that many believe he is on the fast track to a Supreme Court nomination... On Crossfire Estrada's friend Ann Coulter told Paul Begala that, 'the second [Estrada] gets in there, he'll overrule everything you love.' But I'm not sure he's designated her an official spokesperson. In any case, what surprises me is that no one has raised the fact that Estrada was one of the lead lawyers on Bush's legal team arguing the Florida recount cases. According to this article in The American Lawyer, Estrada was one of four other 'lead partners' on the team Ted Olson put together to make now- Bush's arguments about why to shut down the vote-counting in Florida. That's certainly something I'd want to know more about."

Stop the Court Packing - Oppose Miguel Estrada
Judicial appointments

NOW writes, "Send a strong message to your Senators that they must responsibly exercise their advise and consent duties and refuse to confirm Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Court of Appeals because of his disturbing record on civil rights and his refusal to fully answer all questions posed to him by the Judiciary Committee. Urge your Senators to defeat the nomination of Miguel Estrada by any means necessary, including filibuster. Send a message to George W. Bush that the packing of federal courts by right-wing ideologues must cease and that you expect him to submit only the judicial nominations of those who demonstrate a commitment to the preservation of individual and constitutional rights." Sign the letter today!

Orrin Hatch Starts Ramming Right-Wing Judges Down America's Throat
Judicial appointments

WashPost reports, "The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday edged toward its first showdown over judicial nominees since Republicans took over the Senate this month, as Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) scheduled a vote next week on Miguel Estrada for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia. Hatch, foreshadowing another bitter fight, also said he planned to bring up the renomination of U.S. District Judge Charles W. Pickering Sr. of Mississippi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit within the next couple of months... Hatch promised expeditious consideration of Priscilla R. Owen, a Texas Supreme Court justice, who was renominated to the 5th Circuit bench after Democrats rejected her because of her views on abortion and other matters... Estrada, who has been mentioned as a possible choice to become the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court, would tilt the evenly divided D.C. circuit court toward the right. "

BuzzFlash Interviews NOW President Kim Gandy on 30th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
Judicial appointments

"Bush's renomination of Pickering and Owen was a stroke of political brilliance by Karl Rove. I think their intention is to tie the Senate up around those two and hope that the scores of other nominees who are just as bad as Pickering and Owen, but haven't received as much press, will slip right through the back door. They were very successful on convincing the Democrats that they had to pick their fights. And people like Dennis Shedd was confirmed shortly after the mid-term elections in November as a favor to Strom Thurmond. Michael McConnell was also confirmed despite a clear disdain for Roe vs. Wade. There's a huge list of these bad nominees: Deborah Cook, John Roberts, Carolyn Kuhl, Jeffrey Sutton, and John Roberts, to name only a few. These nominations are not just conservative ideologues, but they have absolutely demonstrated in their time on the bench that they are willing to twist the law to fit their ideology." Senate Dems Must Say No to ALL Right Wing Judges!

Whitewashing Pickering
Judicial appointments

George E. Curry writes for the Seattle Medium: "In an attempt to bolster the proposed appointment of U.S. District Judge Charles Pickering Sr. to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is scheduled to be voted on this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, his supporters are trying to soften his anti-Black image by depicting him as courageously standing up against the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. That's only part of the story. The other part is that Pickering's opposition to the Klan, like that of many other powerful Whites in Laurel, Miss., was prompted by the KKK attacking members of the White establishment, not trampling on the rights of African-Americans."

Charles Pickering is a Serial Perjurer
Judicial appointments

When Charles Pickering was nominated for federal judgship by Bush I in 1990, he flatly asserted that he had never had any contact with the notorious Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, which has now been exposed as a lie. MediaWhoresOnline reports, "in 2002, when testifying again before the Senate, Pickering admitted that he had, indeed, had contact with the commission. Amazingly, none of the senators, nor anyone in the media, noted that this amounted to an admission of Pickering's perjury twelve years earlier. Even more amazingly, Pickering proceeded to perjure himself again, telling the Senate that his concerns in 1972 were over possible infiltration of a union by the Ku Klux Klan. That testimony helped Pickering back up his shoddy claims that he has long been a fighter for civil rights. But that testimony was a lie, delivered under oath. Perjury number two." And perjury #3 is his 2002 lie that his former law partner, Carrol Gartner, was not a segregationist. Impeach Pickering Now!

When Judge Pickering Swore Under Oath that 'I Never Had Any Contact with that Agency,' He Committed PERJURY - Impeach Pickering Now!
Judicial appointments

Joe Conason writes, "When George H.W. Bush first named him to the federal bench in 1990 (two years after he chaired the Bush-Quayle campaign in Mississippi), [Charles] Pickering told the Senate that he'd had no contact with the [Mississippi] State Sovereignty Commission, his home state's notorious anti-black secret police apparatus. 'I never had any contact with that agency,' he testified. Not quite true, as the since-unsealed records of the Sovereignty Commission reveal. Actually, in January 1972, Pickering apparently asked [see last page of memo] a Commission employee to keep him apprised of its surveillance of an integrated union-organizing campaign among pulpwood workers in his hometown." "I never had any contact with that agency" - does that sound familiar? Lying under oath is called PERJURY - and Bill Clinton was impeached for it. Impeach Judge Pickering Now!

Bush's Right Wing Judges Twist the Law for Partisan Politics
Judicial appointments

E.J. Dionne writes, "Conservatives are increasingly willing to use federal judicial power to achieve political ends... [Redistricting] involved none other than Rep. Charles W. Pickering Jr., a Republican who is Judge Pickering's son. Mississippi lost a congressional seat after the 2000 Census, and Pickering's district was merged with that of Rep. Ronnie Shows, a Democrat. A state judge drew district lines favoring Shows. A federal three-judge panel, all Republican appointees, then drew a plan favoring Pickering. The judges said they would impose their plan if the Bush Justice Department did not quickly clear the state plan for civil rights purposes. By dragging its feet, the Justice Department sealed Shows's fate. The final blow came from none other than Justice Scalia -- a friend of the Pickering family who presided over the younger Pickering's first swearing-in as a congressman. Scalia ruled to allow the Republican judges to impose their map. Pickering beat Shows this fall."

Pickering's Renomination Symbolized Bush's Agenda
Judicial appointments

The editorial writers at the Baltimore Sun have figured it out. They write about Bush's renomination of Charles Pickering to be a federal appellate judge: "Bush and his allies believe they deftly inoculated themselves against suspicions of racial prejudice by coming down hard on Mr. Lott and pushing him aside as Senate majority leader. They've got moral standing, in their own eyes, so who could question their motives now? ... [T]he Pickering nomination was turned into a symbol. And however much subsequent investigation shows him to be kind to pets and small children, it's still a symbol. It's a symbol of the Bush administration's determination to push for everything it can get, to cram its agenda down its critics' throats." Write to your Senators today, and tell them to oppose the Pickering nomination. While you're at it, tell them to oppose everything the Busheviks try to do.

Senate Debates Nomination of Dennis Shedd
Judicial appointments

AP: "Democrats plan to take one last shot at blocking one of Bush 's judicial nominees while they still control the Senate, hoping to defeat the promotion of a former aide to retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond. The Senate set aside most of Monday to debate the appeals court nomination of U.S. District Judge Dennis Shedd... Democratic senators and liberal groups have criticized Shedd's ruling as a trial judge, saying he has been insensitive in civil rights and employment discrimination cases... Liberal groups were incensed Thursday when the Judiciary Committee approved Shedd's nomination on a voice vote, the first time the panel has done that for a Bush appeals court nominee... The panel also approved Utah professor Michael McConnell for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver by voice vote, over objections by groups opposing his outspoken opposition to abortion. The full Senate completed his confirmation Friday night without debate or a roll call vote." Call 202-224-3121 now!

Dangerous Times Ahead: Bush to Load Bench with Right Wing Judges
Judicial appointments

John Dean writes: "Election 2002 does not give the Bush-Cheney administration a mandate to load the federal judiciary with right wing judges. The voters, after all, had the economy and the war on their minds - not the federal courts. But if you doubt it's about to happen, just sit tight and wait."

No to a Far-Right Court: Use Filibusters
Judicial appointments

Duke Law Professors Erwin Chemerinsky and Catherine Fisk write, "Now that the Republicans have captured the Senate, the Democrats ... have only one way to check [Bush's] ability to pack the federal courts and they must use it: the filibuster. There is ample precedent for filibusters of presidential nominations to executive and judicial positions. In fact, Republicans frequently used them during Democratic administrations. During the Clinton presidency, Republicans successfully filibustered and blocked the nomination of Henry Foster for surgeon general. In 1968, South Carolina's Sen. Strom Thurmond filibustered to stop the confirmation of Justice Abe Fortas to replace Chief Justice Earl Warren and Judge Homer Thornberry to succeed Fortas. Democratic senators must use the filibuster now to block the most conservative of Bush's judicial nominees for the lower federal courts. Also, it is likely that a justice or two may resign from the Supreme Court."

Senate Democrats Surrender on Right-Wing Judicial Nominations
Judicial appointments

NY Times reports, "Democrats who had been using their slim majority in the Senate to block several of...Bush's judicial candidates are expected to give way some on Thursday and allow the confirmation of two appeals court nominees...The two are Dennis W. Shedd, a federal trial judge nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., and Prof. Michael McConnell of the University of Utah, nominated to the 10th Circuit, in Denver...One Democratic aide said the Thursday vote on the two nominees was a gesture of good will." To Orrin Hatch, whose lifelong mission is to destroy Democrats??? But the real battle is over Miguel Estrada, the hispanic Clarence Thomas Bush is grooming for the Supreme Court.

Say No to Right-Wing Judges!
Judicial appointments

"To Senate Democrats: We, the undersigned, urge you to just say no to right-wing judges nominated by George W. Bush. The right-wing legal agenda of the Bush Administration (and the Federalist Society, from which it draws its judges) is clear: abolishing the constitutional protections of the Bill of Rights (freedom of speech, separation of church and state, innocent until proven guilty, warrants for police searches, etc.), giving huge corporations unfettered power, and outlawing abortion. Ronald Reagan, George Bush I, and George Bush II have already appointed far too many right-wing judges like Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and William Rehnquist. Five right-wing Supreme Court justices violated the Constitution - and betrayed America - when they threw out 175,000 uncounted votes to appoint their candidate, George W. Bush, as President. These justices (Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist, Kennedy, and O'Connor) should be impeached - not cloned!" Sign the petition!

Washington Post Slaps Bush on Judicial Nominations
Judicial appointments

The Washington Post has suddenly realized that "Mr. Bush came into office fully aware of the way Senate Republicans had held court vacancies open on courts of appeals around the country. Yet the president has consistently managed to underestimate the anger that his party created by doing so, and he has thereby rubbed salt in Democratic wounds. Mr. Bush has sought fairly consistently to nominate conservatives -- and even as he has demanded that they be considered without regard to politics, he has used their ideological hue to play to his own political base. The result has been a legitimate Democratic concern that Mr. Bush is loading slots that President Clinton was wrongly prevented from filling with conservatives he never would have appointed."

A Reminder From The Vault: Shrub, the Senate and the Federal Judiciary
Judicial appointments

This People For The American Way report from last year looked at the vacancies on the federal bench and the "long-term campaign by right-wing legal and political forces to turn back the clock on American constitutional law and overturn decades of Supreme Court precedents and social justice progress." The introduction leaves no doubt how these vacancies came to exist: "For six years, Senate Republicans, many of whom now call for immediate votes on Bush administration nominees, waged an unparalleled, and unfortunately successful, stalling campaign to block Clinton administration judicial nominees, especially for the federal appeals courts." This leaves them in a great position to pack the federal bench at all levels with right-wing ideologues if they gain control of the Senate. Vote Democratic!

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Opposes Miguel Estrada -- the Hispanic Clarence Thomas
Judicial appointments

For months, GOP operatives have been sending out "astroturf" Letters to the Editor, praising Miguel Estrada as the Hispanic personification of the American Dream and condemning Democratic Senators for not rubberstamping his nomination to the Court of Appeals. For the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, however, he's not a dream but a nightmare. They are opposing his nomination because both his judicial record and his temperament fall short of professional standards. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, while not outright opposing Estrada, has expressed "grave concerns" about his ability to be fair and impartial. Tell your Senators and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote against this "Hispanic Clarence Thomas".

Urge Senators to Reject the Nomination of Michael W. McConnell
Judicial appointments

People for the American Way writes, "McConnell opposes 'one person, one vote' -- one of the most important civil rights principles recognized by the Supreme Court under the Fourteenth Amendment. McConnell opposes the Supreme Court's landmark ruling that the federal government had the authority to withhold tax-exempt status from Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies. McConnell supports direct government funding for religious organizations. His confirmation would threaten the right of students not to be made captive audiences to religious worship and promotion of religion in public schools. McConnell is unrelentingly hostile to a constitutional right of reproductive choice and privacy. He has advocated for restricting abortion rights wherever possible with the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade. Please encourage members of the Judiciary Committee to oppose McConnell's nomination! Act now!"

Judge Michael W. McConnell Lies His Way Through Senate Hearings
Judicial appointments

WashPost reports, "A conservative law school professor nominated by Resident Bush to a federal appeals court tried to assure the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that he would be 'a judge who plays it straight' and who would not allow his personal opinions to affect his judicial rulings. 'I am telling you under oath that I will conscientiously enforce the law, including laws and precedents that I don't agree with,' Michael W. McConnell declared during his confirmation hearing." Now where have we heard THAT bushit before? John Ashcroft made EXACTLY the same promise, and Russ Feingold bought it - and Ashcroft has violated it every day since his swearing-in. Ditto Clarence Thomas. Fool me once, shame on you.. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice - shame on ALL Democrats! Bush has NO mandate - JUST SAY NO to Bush's right-wing Judges!!!

Tell the Senate to Defeat the Nomination Judge Dennis Shedd to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Judicial appointments

NOW writes, "Judge Shedd's decisions have consistently demonstrated a troublesome disdain for women's, civil and employment rights and civil liberties, confirming that he is a right-wing extremist who will not shy away from substituting his political views for the law, thus rendering him unqualified... In addition to coddling sexual harassers, Judge Shedd is only too eager to substitute his political agenda for the decisions of the US Congress, striking down laws he does not like as beyond congressional authority. For example, to stop anti-abortion terrorists and other criminals from using license plate numbers to obtain personal information about their victims in order to stalk, attack or kill them, Congress passed the Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). The Act prohibits states from divulging such personal information except in limited circumstances. Judge Shedd struck down this law as a violation of states' rights." Click below to write every Judiciary Committee member.

Bush Nominee for Appeals Court is Called 'Dangerous' by NARAL
Judicial appointments

NARAL vigorously opposes the nomination of Michael W. McConnell for the US Court of Appeals for Tenth Circuit and has published a collection of his quotes. "Michael W. McConnell is an avowed anti-choice activist, whose views on the constitutional right to privacy, a woman's right to choose, and the separation of church and state are all but certain to influence his judicial opinions should he be confirmed for a seat on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals," says a NARAL statement. The "quote sheet" proves, through McConnell's own words, says NARAL, "that confirmation of this nominee would be a threat to reproductive freedom and choice and to the right to privacy. Forthcoming will be a more analytical piece, explaining why these views are dangerous even in a lower court judge, and even while Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey are the law of the land." Bush was never elected, so he has no mandate to appoint right-wing judges. The Senate should Just Say No!

Senate Dems Reject Priscilla Owen
Judicial appointments

A 10-9 Democratic majority on "The Senate Judiciary Committee today rejected George W. Bush's nomination of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 'Owen's record is that of a judge who has spent her career trying to make law rather than abide by her obligation to interpret it,' said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas. 'Her own colleagues on the conservative Texas Supreme Court, including those appointed by then-Governor George Bush, have often criticized her attempts to rewrite the law in a way that would severely damage the rights of ordinary Americans. She owes her defeat to her record and a willingness to ignore the law in pursuit of a right-wing ideological agenda.' Owen's confirmation was opposed by a broad range of state and national organizations that criticized her record on workers' rights, reproductive choice, and the environment."

Defeat Justice Priscilla Owen
Judicial appointments

NY Times opines, "In choosing a nominee for the Fifth Circuit - the powerful federal appeals court for TX, MS and LA - Resident Bush has looked to the extreme right wing of the legal profession. Even on Texas' conservative Supreme Court, Justice Owen has distinguished herself as one of the most conservative members. A former lawyer for the oil and gas industry, she reflexively favors manufacturers over consumers, employers over workers and insurers over sick people. In abortion cases Justice Owen has been resourceful about finding reasons that, despite US Supreme Court holdings and Texas case law, women should be denied the right to choose. Justice Owen's views are so far from the mainstream that, on those grounds alone, the Senate should be reluctant to confirm her. But what is particularly disturbing about her approach to judging is, as Mr. Gonzales has identified, her willingness to ignore the text and intent of laws that stand in her way." Call your Senators at 202-224-3121.

Priscilla 'Enron' Owen, Bush's Choice for Appeals Court is a Corporate Toady and Right-Wing Zealot
Judicial appointments

Ed Vulliamy writes: "Open warfare has broken out between the White House and Capitol Hill over George Bush's most controversial nomination to date to the bench of American high courts... Bush has intervened to back Owen, and her campaign is being managed - as they all have since her Texas days - by Karl Rove... The Democrat-controlled Senate, however, is fighting her nomination to the powerful fifth circuit Appeals Court, the tier beneath the US Supreme Court. Senators and a host of organisations petitioning their judiciary committee say Owen has used the bench to advance a zealous right-wing ideology, contesting the right to abortion and favouring big oil and energy companies, including the disgraced Enron, which has been one of her - and [Bush's] - biggest financial backers."

GOP Forms Group to Pressure Senate Dems to Confirm More Life Term Right-Wing Judges
Judicial appointments

"Former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray announced Tuesday he was forming a new group to pressure the Democratic-controlled Senate to approve...Bush's judicial nominees. Gray, who was White House counsel in the first Bush administration, said the newly formed Committee for Justice has the mission of defending and promoting the judicial confirmation process. 'Some nominees to the federal bench have been held up for more than a year,' Gray said. 'This not only threatens the integrity and process of the judiciary, but undermines the intent of the Constitution.'...In May, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy said that in the 10 months of Democratic leadership in the Senate, that body confirmed 56 judges. That was more than were confirmed during each of the 12 months in the years 1996 through 2000, when Republicans controlled the Senate and Clinton was in the White House, said Leahy, D-VT. " Tell your Senators not to be bullied!

'Money over Morality': Bush Nominates Another Right-Wing Enron Patron
Judicial appointments

CNN.com reports: "Three months after rejecting one of Bush's nominees for the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Senate Judiciary Committee is hearing from another one just as controversial. Priscilla Owen...Owen's rulings in cases involving a Texas law requiring young girls to notify parents when having abortions have been a catalyst for opposition. One of those opinions even drew criticism from Bush's own general counsel, Alberto Gonzales, who served with Owen on the Texas high court. 'Her rulings on choice vividly exemplify her judicial activism,' said Elizabeth Cavendish, legal director for the National Abortion Rights Action League...Opponents have pointed to the $8,600 in campaign contributions she accepted from Enron Corp. and a majority opinion that she wrote two years later reducing Enron's taxes by $15 million. 'Owen has demonstrated a commitment to money over morality,' National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy said in a statement."

Leave No Plutocrat Behind -- Bush Plans To Pack The Courts with Enron-loving Hacks
Judicial appointments

Joe Conason writes "Enron is like a dead rat whose bad smell gradually infiltrates every room in the house. The smell in the White House keeps getting worse. Now even one of the president's [sic] judicial nominees carries a whiff of that malodorous corporate corpse. The nominee in question is Priscilla Owen, sent up by her old friend George W. for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals... Lawyers familiar with her work on the Texas high court consider her a mediocrity who slices up the law to suit her ideological disposition... her heart almost always goes out to major corporations, notably those that helped finance her election campaigns. Her political consultant of choice just happens to have been good ole Karl Rove... The only [Texas] Supreme Court justice who took more money from business interests than Owen was Alberto Gonzales, now the Bush White House counsel."

Senate Gears Up for Battle over Patricia Owen, Karl Rove's Nominee for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Judicial appointments

John Nichols writes, "When Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee [she will face an unprecedented level of criticism from those] familiar with her record of extreme right-wing judicial activism. The noisiest of these complaints is unlikely, however, to rival the loud critique offered by one of her fellow justices on the state court. [Texas justice Alberto Gonzales identified Owen as a radical jurist, but now] finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to sing the praises of a woman he knows from personal experience to be a right-wing radical. [How did this happen? Easy -- Owen is a Karl Rove special. Rove has orchestrated Owen's rapid rise ever since he plucked her from a gig as an undistinguished hired gun for Texas] energy firms to make her his pet judicial candidate."

Write Your Senator to Reject the Nomination of D. Brooks Smith
Judicial appointments

People for the American Way writes, "Federal District Court Judge D. Brooks Smith has been nominated by Bush for a promotion to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. His nomination is expected to come to the Senate floor for a vote soon. Smith's nomination is yet another example of how the actions of the Bush administration, Senate Republicans and right-wing activists threaten to restrict our liberties by reshaping our courts. Judge Smith's judicial philosophy endangers a broad range of important legal and constitutional rights and interests affecting consumers, women, minorities, people with disabilities, health, safety, and the environment. Smith has also violated judicial ethics and has made contradictory statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee about these violations. White House pressure and Senate tradition often make stopping judicial nominees an uphill fight - but one we can and must win! Urge your senators to vote AGAINST D. Brooks Smith on the Senate floor!"

Judicial Nominations Without DeLay
Judicial appointments

Christian Livemore writes in Online Journal, "H.L. Mencken once said, 'The objection to Puritans is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think.' Funny, I was thinking the same thing about Republicans. Their latest complaint, without a trace of irony, is that the Democrats are holding up George W. Bush's judicial nominations... The reason we should block Bush's judicial nominations is that he has no mandate to appoint a bunch of right wing judges in the first place... Bush is not merely nominating moderate Republicans who believe in judicial restraint and a conservative interpretation of the Constitution. He is nominating extreme right-wingers who, if they had their druthers, would take their right wing ideologies, which are opposed by the majority of Americans, and make them the law of the land."

Shrub's Latest Judicial Pick Would Scrap Miranda Rights!
Judicial appointments

The next time Shrub complains that Democrats in Congress aren't confirming his judicial appointees fast enough, someone should point out that maybe he ought to stop nominating unqualified, right-wing activist judges! Not to mention the fact that, despite deep reservations from several senators, the Senate just confirmed his latest distasteful nominee, Paul Cassell, to the U.S. District Court in Utah. Cassell is a gem of a man who believes Miranda protections, which mandate that suspects be informed of their right to an attorney and their "right to remain silent", should essentially be scrapped. Like Shrub, Cassell has played the ostrich with his head in the sand bit and denied that people are being wrongfully sent to death row, despite mounting evidence to the contrary (sounds like Texecutioner Bush's adamant claims about.). Ted Kennedy called him "intemperate and one-sided." Still, Shrub got his way and Cassell was confirmed.

Democrats Foresee No Fallout on Judges
Judicial appointments

Paul Kane writes in Roll Call that since the rejection of Charles Pickering's judicial nomination, Republicans have tried to blame Democrats for judicial obstructionism, but "Democrats now say that there is no discernible partisan edge on the issue, and that it garners virtually no interest among voters, leading them to conclude they won't pay a political price for fighting President [sic] Bush's nominees... If Democrats had any fear that the issue was beginning to hurt them, they were reassured [by pollster Mark Mellman, who] unveiled a survey that tested 30 different issues [including the question, are] 'Democrats in the Senate are not confirming President [sic] Bush's nominees to the federal judgeships quickly enough.' Just 11 percent of the respondents expressed serious concern about the issue, the lowest response Mellman said he has ever received in 20 years of asking the same type of question."

Democrats Tell Bush His Right Wing Judicial Nominees Are DOA
Judicial appointments

Shrub tried to intimidate Senate Democrats into rubber-stamping his Federalist Society judicial nominees, but Democrats fired right back. "Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Democrats are not interested in letting Bush use popularity gained from the anti-terrorism campaign to stack the courts with conservative judges. He said the Senate resisted efforts by Franklin Roosevelt to load the bench and 'we're doing the same thing.' Schumer said Bush will get quick confirmation if he submits moderate nominees 'who belong on the bench.' 'Nominate ideologues willing to sacrifice the interests of many to serve the interests of a narrow few, and you'll have a fight on your hands. It's that simple,' Schumer said." We think it should be even simpler: since Bush stole the election in a conspiracy with the Federalist Society members of the Supreme Court, Democrats should simply declare "No New Judges" until the Supreme Court 5 resign - or are impeached.

Pushing for his Right Wing Nominees, Bush Plays up a Judiciary 'Crisis'
Judicial appointments

Remember during the debates when Bush promised to lead from the center? Now he's complaining that he can't get the courts rigged to the right. "Bush accused Senate Democrats on Friday of 'endangering the administration of justice in America' by balking at many of his judicial nominees...The sharp challenge to the Democratic-controlled Senate reflected a mounting fight between the White House and Democrats over the shape of the federal judiciary. Democrats have objected to the nominees on many grounds, including their contention that Bush's candidates tend to be conservative. The standoff is a warm-up for what both sides predict will be an enormous fight if Bush gets a chance to fill a Supreme Court vacancy...He said more than 10 percent of federal judgeships are vacant. He did not mention that the shortage is partially due to Republican senators who derailed many nominees of former Democratic President Clinton."

Pray Hard - For an Honest Judiciary
Judicial appointments

The Arkansas Times reports, "A mass will be held May 1... in Little Rock to pray for the judicial system. The judicial system has never needed it more. [Justice Clarence Thomas will speak] following the mass. The blood of democracy is on Thomas' hands. He was one of five justices who rushed past judicial activism all the way to judicial assault, forcing an unelected president on the American people. (D.C.) Judge Laurence Silberman... may need impeachment too... David Brock, once an intimate of Silberman, says the judge reveled in guerilla politics, conniving with Clinton-haters and conservative crackpots. Silberman is lying low... The Federal court system began to degenerate when Ronald Reagan made conservative ideology and party loyalty the principal qualifications for judicial appointment. It was that kind of judge who appointed George W. Bush president, and now President [sic] Bush is appointing that kind of judge. A vicious circle, indeed. One mass will not be nearly enough."

Bush Continues to Appoint Wolves to Guard the Sheep's Den
Judicial appointments

Bush sneakily made 2 recess appointments on Friday while Congress was on break to avoid Senate confirmation, and both fell into Shrub's pattern of appointing reactionary conservatives who basically oppose the very laws they're supposed to enforce. First, Shrub appointed an opponent of campaign finance laws who also happens to be the Republican National Committee's top lawyer to the Federal Election Commission, a six-member panel that enforces campaign finance laws. Next, he appointed a critic of affirmative action laws as assistant secretary of education for civil rights. What next? Appointing Peter Mokaba (the member of South Africa's Parliament who denies that HIV exists) as head of AIDS policy?

Here's Another Clinton Judicial Nominee Republicans Haven't Apologized For: Michael Schattman
Judicial appointments

The Atlanta Journal Constitution's Jay Bookman writes, "If Hatch were sincerely angered by what happened to Pickering, he would probably be even more outraged to learn how the Senate treated another judicial nominee, Michael Schattman. Pickering at least got two committee hearings and a committee vote, all within a year of his nomination. He may not have liked the final outcome, but he did get the courtesy of a vote. Schattman, by contrast, waited three long years and never got even a hearing. He finally withdrew his name when it became clear that those running the Senate Judiciary Committee would never give him a chance to be considered. The man running the Judiciary Committee all that time was Orrin Hatch."

Abner Mikva Says 'No New Injustices'
Judicial appointments

"Having defeated... Charles Pickering, Senate Democrats are moving to block Bush from appointing other conservatives to the federal bench. But some are going further, saying that because Bush lacks a popular mandate, the Senate should take no action on any Bush nominee to a Supreme Court vacancy until after the 2004 presidential election. The idea... is the brainchild of Abner Mikva, a former Democratic congressman and a former federal judge. Mikva says his proposal has gotten a warm reception from Democrats across the country... Mikva, who also served as White House counsel for President Clinton, told MSNBC.com: 'I can't say the reason President Bush didn't win (the popular vote) was because of his views on the Supreme Court, but I can say he didn't have a big mandate.' He added, 'this narrowly balanced court should not be upset until there's been another exercise of the franchise' in the 2004 election. 'Wait until there's more of a popular mandate.'" You Go, Abner!

Harry Reid Rips Republicans to Shreds over Pickering
Judicial appointments

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) scored a knockout over Pickering. "Senator Daschle... has said that we are not going to be in a payback mode. We are not going to treat them like they treated us. If we did, Judge Pickering would not have had two hearings... Until Judge Edith Clement received a hearing on her nomination to the Fifth Circuit court last year, there had been no hearings on Fifth Circuit nominees since 1994 and no confirmations since 1995. If Senator Leahy wanted to get even, he had a lot of even to get because he was not very well treated as a ranking member of that committee. In 1999 the Fifth Circuit declared an emergency because it had three vacancies that had not been filled... Jorge Rangel was nominated to the Fifth Circuit in 1997 by Bill Clinton ... Enrique Moreno was first nominated to the Fifth Circuit in 1999... H. Alston Johnson was first nominated to the Fifth Circuit in 1999..." These three nominees NEVER had a hearing or a vote under Republican rule.

Trent Lott Is Threatening Retaliation for the Defeat of Pickering's Nomination
Judicial appointments

Jesse Holland writes, "Senate Republican leader Trent Lott on Friday threatened to retaliate against Democrats for defeating the promotion of one of President [sic] Bush's nominees to a federal appeals court. 'I'm not going to let go of it for a long time,' said Lott, upset because the Senate Judiciary Committee killed the nomination of U.S. District Judge Charles Pickering of Mississippi to the U.S. Appeals Court in New Orleans." Trent, did you ever think the reason there were so many vacancies for Judges in the first place is that you held up many of President Clinton's nominations? Now you are trying to scare the Democrats by threatening retaliation for not approving one very controversial and unqualified judge. Well Trent, it will not work. Your threats and actions are one and the same- and where did it get you? That's right, you lost your Senate Majority Leader status.

Senate Democrats Send Clear Message to Bush: No More Judicial Extremists
Judicial appointments

By a 10-9 vote, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee blocked the nomination of Charles Pickering to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats cited Pickering's record of disregarding settled law. Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) said, "This is a record that is replete with examples of bad judging, littered with cases that demonstrate a misunderstanding of the law in many crucial and sensitive areas, a record that shows a judge inserting his personal views into his judicial opinions, and putting his own personal preferences above the law." According to the Washington Post's Edward Walsh, "On both sides of the battle line, the Pickering nomination fight is seen as a likely precursor to an even fiercer struggle should President Bush nominate an equally conservative jurist to a future Supreme Court vacancy." Congratulations to the Judiciary Committee Democrats for finally standing firm!

For Bush's Judicial Nominees, Nepotism Trumps Competence
Judicial appointments

The American Prospect reports, "Anyone who doesn't believe America is a land of opportunity should check out the case of David Bunning, who until a few weeks ago was an assistant U.S. attorney in eastern Kentucky. According to the ABA, Bunning's career didn't rise to the level of the breathtaking. His legal writings, concluded one ABA investigator, 'read very much like the work of a young associate.' The ABA was going through Bunning's collected works, it turns out, because President [sic] Bush had nominated him to the federal bench in the Eastern District of Kentucky. The more the ABA looked, the less it liked what it saw. Noting that Bunning was also two years shy of the 12 years' experience the ABA recommends for federal judges, the association officially found Bunning unqualified for the bench - its first such finding for a Bush judicial nominee. The response of the Senate was to confirm Bunning - son of Kentucky Republican Senator Jim Bunning - by voice vote with no debate."

Is Bush's Judicial Nominee Charles Pickering a Judge - or a Verbal Lynch Mob of One?
Judicial appointments

Judge Charles Pickering is like a darkly satiric character out of Mark Twain or Charles Dickens - a garishly colorful mouth dispensing dubious, almost comic interpretations of The Law and spouting passages from the Bible. The best even his supporters can say is that he's "a fine person, but almost so pious that it interferes with his assignment as a judge. If he doesn't like a law, he has some trouble in cases that involve that law." Some of the laws Pickering has trouble with: Miranda Rights, one-person-one-vote, the right to interracial marriage, and Roe v. Wade. Just about everyone left of the fundamentalist rightwingnuts (as in 90% of all Americans) are opposed to Pickering's nomination, including the NAACP, AFL-CIO, National Association of Social Workers, National Organization for Women, and Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - all on a long and daily growing list.

Oppose Pickering's Nomination to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Judicial appointments

"On February 7, 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its second hearing on the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering, a Bush nominee to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Pickering is a staunch opponent of legal abortion and civil rights. He should not be confirmed. Contact the Democratic Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee and let them know you oppose the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals." Visit the Feminist Majority web site to send an e-mail letter.

The Senate Has Appointed Terry Wooten To The Federal Bench
Judicial appointments

Here's one that flew under the radar earlier this month. "After an investigation of charges leveled by former conservative writer David Brock, the Senate Judiciary Committee — and later the full Senate — yesterday unanimously approved the nomination of Terry Wooten to become a U.S. district-court judge in South Carolina...On August 24…Brock sent chairman Patrick Leahy a letter claiming that in the early 1990s Wooten illegally gave out secret FBI files relating to the Thomas confirmation battle. At that time, Brock was writing a book that was highly critical of Anita Hill, the woman who accused Thomas of sexual harassment. Brock, who later disavowed his own work, said Wooten gave him secret FBI material on Angela Wright, a woman who has said she was harassed by Thomas but did not testify at Thomas's confirmation hearings." Although Wooten's confirmation is a disappointment, we eagerly await the publication of Brock's 'Blinded by the Right' on Feb. 5.

Another Bush Nominee Has Sleaze Around The Collar -- David Brock Charges That Judge Wooten Leaked FBI Files To Discredit Clarence Thomas Accuser
Judicial appointments

"On Monday, the panel is scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing for Judge Terry L. Wooten, now a federal magistrate in Florence, S.C. His nomination by President Bush was not controversial. But Brock's charge [in a sworn statement filed with the Senate Judiciary Committee] threatens to reopen a bruising episode for the committee. In 1991, Wooten was the committee's chief Republican counsel, and he helped coordinate the defense of Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court...In September of that year, when Hill sent the committee a statement accusing her former boss of having harassed her with crude sexual comments, Wooten chose to withhold the information from the Republican senators...In October 1991, Brock said he was commissioned to write a book to discredit Hill and Angela Wright, who also accused Thomas of making crude comments. Brock now has said that White House aides sent him to Wooten to obtain FBI files that contained derogatory comments about Wright."

White House Admits Republican Abuse of Clinton's Judicial Nominations Was 'Wrong'
Judicial appointments

White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales admitted that some Republican senators placed "holds" on Clinton judicial nominees, denying them a Judiciary Committee hearing or a floor vote for as long as four years. "That was wrong," he said. "That's not right." As a result, Gonzales said, Democrats may only approve five of Bush's judicial nominees this year. "We are trying to work through some of the logjams, but there is a lot of bitterness," Gonzales told CNN. "This is a bit of a payback. I can't argue with some of their [the Democrats'] perceptions." Hey Alberto, of course you can't argue with those perceptions - they're the gospel truth! Someone should have told Trent Lott that "what goes around, comes around." And that includes impeachment - stay tuned, Alberto!