On Monday, President Bush renominated seven of the ten judicial nominees that were blocked by Democratic filibusters during his first term because of their extreme right-wing records. An additional five of the 20 nominations sent to the Senate yesterday include nominees whose confirmations were slowed because of Democratic opposition to their ultra-conservative backgrounds. “The President is at it again with extremist judges,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, according to the New York Times. “We should not divert attention from other pressing issues facing this nation to redebate the merits of nominees already found too extreme by this chamber.”
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has threatened to employ a “nuclear option” which would end the use of a filibuster on judicial nominations by requiring only a simple 51-vote majority. There are currently 55 Republican members of the Senate; it takes 60 votes to overturn a filibuster.
The judicial candidates renominated by Bush include William Pryor, who called the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history,” and “the day seven members of our high court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children;” Janice Rogers Brown, who voted in favor of California’s parental consent statute and voted against a ruling that would stop racially discriminatory speech in a workplace because, she wrote, racist remarks at work are protected by the First Amendment; and William Myers, who was opposed not only for his views on reproductive rights but also because of his decades of fighting for the rights of cattle ranchers and the mining industry over the protection of the environment and the rights of Native Americans.
The Feminist Majority is part of a broad coalition of women’s rights, civil rights, reproductive rights, environmental, disability, and labor groups urging Senate Democrats to filibuster extreme right-wing judicial nominees.
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