The Downside Of Compromise
May 26, 2005 - 9:28am ET
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The upside of the recent filibuster compromise was, of course, the deflection of the nuclear option and the upholding of 200 years of Senate protocol. The downside is this: Senate confirmed embattled judicial candidate Priscilla Owen late yesterday afternoon. Owen is one of three judges to get up or down votes under the bipartisan deal. Votes on the other two, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor, will happen in the near future. Is Owen really that bad? In short, yes.
Owen's record is filled with instances of protecting big businesses over consumers; putting corporate interests before workers'; hacking away at a woman's right to choose in her home state of Texas; and egregiously working to overturn laws protecting civil rights. As LCCR president Wade Henderson pointed out, even her own colleagues in Texas have a low opinion of her:
Priscilla Owen's record is one of protecting big business over the rights of individuals, consumers, and employees. Her confirmation is a disappointment. Even her own, very conservative Texas colleagues agree she is often outside the mainstream.
Women's rights and pro-choice organizations are obviously not thrilled either. Ellie Smeal, president of Feminist Majority, referring to the "extraordinary circumstances" clause of the filibuster agreement, asked:
Will saving women’s lives, women’s rights, and civil rights ever be considered such an extraordinary circumstance? If the record of Priscilla Owen and two other anti-women’s rights, anti-civil rights nominees who will not be filibustered under the deal are to be the standard, then these rights are in grave peril.
It's one thing to be criticized by the head of a national civil rights conference or a feminist advocacy group. But it's another when Alberto Gonzales—yes, that Alberto Gonzales—calls your rulings an "unconscionable act of judicial activism." Congratulations, Judge Owen! You're more extreme that the torture memo guy!
While we've now got Judge Owen on the bench for life, there's still time to fight against Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor. Take action here and tell your senators that one lifetime extremist judge is enough.
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