With a vote of 52-44, Senate Democrats upheld a filibuster today on President Bush’s nomination of Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and launched the latest fight against Bush’s campaign to pack the courts with right wing judges. Currently a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Owen was first nominated by Bush during the last session of Congress and was rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee. In an unprecendented move, Bush re-nominated Owen, along with Charles Pickering who was also rejected in committee during the last session of Congress.
Joining together with a broad coalition of women’s rights, civil rights, labor and environmental groups, the Feminist Majority supports the filibuster against Owen. The Feminist Majority joined a press conference held today to encourage the Senate to maintain a filibuster against Owen until her nomination is withdrawn. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) led today’s press conference along with representatives from Texas public interest groups, NARAL Pro-Choice America and other leading women’s rights and civil rights groups.
“It’s painful to support a filibuster of a woman’s appointment. But, we have learned that a woman who opposes women’s rights in a position of power is often used to justify discrimination,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “With a record of judicial activism against abortion that is so extreme that even fellow Republican justices on the Texas Supreme Court have commented on it, Owen would ensure that the court of last resort for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas would become a dead end for women.” TAKE ACTION: Thank Senators for Voting Against Jeffrey Sutton