The Senate confirmed yet another of President Bush’s conservative judicial nominees on Tuesday. In a vote of 73-24, the Senate confirmed Thomas Griffith to the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Thomas Griffith is a staunch opponent of Title IX, the landmark federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs, and women’s and civil rights groups, including the Feminist Majority, have raised concerns about his position on the enforcement of civil rights laws.
Griffith served on President Bush’s so-called Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, which was stacked with opponents of Title IX and recommended measures that would have weakened enforcement of the law. While President Bush was ultimately forced to reaffirm Title IX because of an outpouring of support from women’s groups, Griffith’s confirmation poses yet another threat to Title IX. The DC Circuit Court is considered to be the most powerful of the federal appeals courts because it has jurisdiction over federal legislation, including Title IX.
Griffith’s record has also been criticized because of his failure to obtain a license to practice law in Utah when he served as a lawyer for Brigham Young University. At his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, he admitted to losing his DC law license because of a failure to pay bar association dues.