As women’s and abortion rights groups heighten their vigilance surrounding Supreme Court nominations, President George W. Bush plans to announce his first judicial nominees early next month, mostly to fill vacancies in federal district and appellate courts. The New York Times today reported a preliminary list of possible nominees – of 70 names, about 20 of them were recommended by the conservative Federalist Society. The Federalist Society is “[t]argeting the courts, the law schools, and the American Bar Association,” and “has emerged as an increasingly powerful coalition of conservative … legal activists developing broad-based challenges to fundamental principles of constitutional law,” says the Institute for Democracy Studies, which just released a new report on the Federalist Society. Ted Olson, Bush’s yet-to-be-confirmed choice for U.S. Solicitor General, is a former president of the Federalist Society who argued Bush v. Gore in the Supreme Court. Olson’s past cases include arguing in favor of sex discrimination in the Virginia Military Institute. Other prominent members of the Federalist Society include Robert Bork, former Attorney General Edwin Meese, and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Orrin Hatch.
The Times reports that Democrats in the Senate are already talking about blocking nominations to the lower federal courts. Women’s and abortion rights groups have begun a campaign to urge that the Senate block the confirmation of anti-Roe v. Wade Justices to the Supreme Court, as well as nominees who refuse to reveal their position on Roe. “We must build the will in the Senate to filibuster now, before it is too late,” said Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority president, at the recent Emergency Action for Women’s Lives.
Get involved in Million4Roe.com, FM’s new filibuster campaign, and Tell Washington We Won’t Go Back!