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Get To Know Your Judicial Nominees

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posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 12:43 AM
Being "Justice Sunday", I thought it might be a good idea to take a closer look at the judicial nominees that may cause some nuclear reactions in the coming weeks and months.

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Commitee approved the previously blocked nominees Priscilla Owen and Janice Rodgers Brown to be sent to the Senate for a full vote. Another previously blocked nominee who has been serving as an Appeals Court Judge under a temporary appointment by Bush, William Pryor, is expected to be sent before the full Senate next week. Terrence Boyle's Judiciary Commitee vote is still on hold.

But who are these nominees?

The Republicans claim that they are "fine" judges that are being held up for partisan reasons--Sen. Bill Frist is going so far as to declare in opposing these nominees, the Democrats are "against people of faith." Dems claim that they are incompetant and Conservative extremists, nominated only because of their allegience to the conservative agenda.

Bill Frist said today in his "Justice Sunday" remarks that "Our judiciary must be independent, impartial and fair." I used those standards in my evaluation, and included ethics and competence also.

Impartiality--ability to interpret and apply the law free of personal bias and political leanings;
Ethics--will not allow conflicts of interest to exist, remains honest and adheres to professional conduct standards; and
Competence--ability to perform the duties of a judge without committing errors.
Janice Brown
Brown stated in an August 2000 speech at an Institute for Justice Conference, entitled "Fifty Ways to Lose Your Freedom" that

...if we can invoke no ultimate limits on the power of government, a democracy is inevitable transformed into a Kleptocracy--a license to steal, a warrant for oppression.

Much to my surprise, when I actually began to investigate the question, I found a small but credible body of scholorship suggesting that, in early history, the due process clause was viewed as a restraint on government, fashioned, in part, to protect the rights of property owners. Apparently, the colonists saw in the due process clause a guarantee which had a wide, varied, and indefinite content. The concept of due process like the words "the law of the land" in the Magna Carta put some liberties and some property interests beyond the power of the government. Moreover, the language of the Constitution suggests the drafters clearly distinguished between the limited framework of that document and the whole law.

This revelation was what's known in the precise, technical language of the judge's trade as an "uh-oh."

It slowly dawned on my that the problem may not be judicial activism. The problem may be that the world view--amounting to an altered political and culteral consciousness--out of which judges now fashion their decisions.

At its founding and throughout its early history, this regime revered private property. The American philosophy of the Rights of Man relied heavily on the indissoluble connection between rationality, property, freedom, and justice.

Did our Founding Fathers really intend to establish our unalienable rights as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of property? Brown seems to think so--and believes that government should be completely hands off--as reflected by the property cases in which she has been involved. Perhaps this was the intention of our founding fathers, but they didn't live in an America where land developers want to litter the country with strip malls, low-income housing was scarce, and city water tables were being polluted.

In Brown's America, government use-permits, fees and fines to curb activity detrimental to the environment, the population, and society are unconstitutional because they infringe on the property owners right to do what they wish with their property. Using a narrow interpretation of the Constitution, this may be the case, but what about the rights of the people drinking the water being contaminated, or the people that have to live next door to the noisy factory, or the people that suddenly find themselves evicted overnight at the landlords will?

For example:

In San Remo Hotel L.P. v. City and County of San Francisco, a case which was defending the Ordinance put in place to protect low income housing from being taken over by hotel developers in San Francisco. The Ordinance required that landlords must obtain a for-fee permit to allow renting to tourists instead of permanent residents. Brown was the only judge to dissent, offering an unsupported opinion that the fee represented "theft" and diminished the landlord's "essential human dignity" via one's "free use of property." She went on to declare "the property right is now--in California, at least--a hollow one."

Perhaps she is on to something with government fees representing theft, but the consequences of a state Supreme Court rendering government use-permits unconstitutional would be catastophic. The majority condemned Brown for her opinion in the San Remo case for a variety of reasons, including ignoring legal precedent and attempting to impose her personal unsupported theory on the people of a democratic state.

She also expressed her beliefs that restrictions on property use are an infringement upon fundamental liberty interests in Landgate v California Coastal Commission, Santa Monica Beach, Ltd. v. Sup. Ct. of Los Angeles County, and Galland v. City of Clovis.

I suggest reading Brown's opinions in these cases--she has a certain flamboyance in her writing, but what she suggests in her opinion in protecting the property owner at all costs regardless of the consequences to society is naive at best. I can see why supporters of business interests would support her appointment to a higher court.

If Brown is a stalwart supporter of the rights of property owners, she feels that the Constitutional protections offered by the Bill of Rights have been stretched and distorted. In Kasler v. Lockyer, a case dealing with the assault weapons ban, Brown wrote the majority opinion that condemned as “highly suspect, incoherent, and constitutionally invalid” the high court’s “hypervigilance with respect to an expanding array of judicially proclaimed fundamental rights,” including the right to marry, the right to determine how to live or die and the right of a family to live together.

She also stated in the August 2000 IJC speech that

“My grandparents’ generation thought being on the government dole was disgraceful, a blight on the family’s honor. Today’s senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a right to get as much ‘free’ stuff as the political system will permit them to extract.”

Brown's feelings towards seniors being "moochers" translates into her opinions. In Stevenson vs. Superior Court, she authored a dissenting opinion against a 60 year old woman who was suing for wrongful termination because she lost her job after returning from disability leave. The court ruled that firm that fired her violated the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and that FEHA provides a fundamental and substantial benefit to the public. The court also ruled that although FEHA allows for administrative remedies, it does not preempt common law tort claims.

In her lone dissent, Brown wrote "“I would deny plaintiff relief because she has failed to establish that the public policy against age discrimination ‘inures to the benefit of the public’ or is ‘fundamental and substantial.’" because “In its own respect, the hiring and advancement of younger workers serves the public interest as fully as the retention of older, more experienced workers. ... Discrimination based on age ... is the unavoidable consequence of that universal leveler: time.”

The majority justices replied of Brown's dissent that her "real quarrel is not with our holding in this case, but with this court’s previous decision ... and, even more fundamentally, with the Legislature itself.”

In another FEHA case, Richards v. CH2M Hill, where a firm repeatedly failed to accommodate a disabled employee, was ruled to represent a continuing violation, extending the statute of limitations for claims. Again, in a solo dissent, Brown said that the employee should only be able to recover for losses due to discrimination within the one-year statue of limitations period. Regardless of the facts in this particular case, she accused everyone who sought to invoke the continuing violation doctrine as attempting to manipulate their case.

She generally believes that discrimination cases involving emotional damages are untenable. In Konig v. Fair Employment and Housing Commission, she said “general compensatory damages for emotional distress . . . are not pecuniarily measurable, defy a fixed rule of quantification, and are awarded without proof of pecuniary loss.”

Brown has also expressed personal bias in her opinions against affimative action, same-sex adoption, workers rights, consumer protections, and shareholder's rights.

Her position consistently supports big business, as if she was truly supporting a laissez-fare government position, it is curious why in Loder v. Glendale she issued a dissenting opinion supporting pre-promotion drug testing of public employees, claiming that the invasion of privacy was small and “But that is life. Sometimes beauty is fierce; love is tough; and freedom is painful.”

Brown is a member of/participates in many ultra-right wing special interest clubs, such as the Liberty Fund & the John M. Olin foundation, which presents a serious conflict of interest for anyone that is a member of the judiciary.

Considering that she has difficulty separating her personal beliefs from her judiciary opinions, this is a telegraph of her rulings, regardless of the law or case facts.

California State Law requires newly appointed judges to have thier court confirmations affirmed via public referendum during the first gubernatorial election after their appointment and again at the expiration of their twelve year term. They run unopposed, but must receive a majority of the vote to remain on the bench. Brown chose not to raise campaign funds and campaigning for voter approval (and received 73% of the vote.)

Twice received an unqualified rating from the California Judicial Nominations Evaluating Commission that indicated she was ill-equipped to serve on the California Supreme Court, the second time with three-fourths of state bar evaluators concurring with the rating. Concerns expressed by her peers said she was "insensitive to established legal precedent…and lacked compassion and intellectual tolerance for opposing views." She was nominated by Gov. Wilson anyway--she had worked as his legal affairs secretary and he had submitted her name for nomination. She was confirmed by a panel that included her former boss and two colleagues. The panel members admitted that they hadn't read the majority of her rulings and were biased because of their prior relationships with her, but did not recuse themselves.

Received a rating of Q(m)/NQ(min) from the American Bar Association, which is the lowest ABA "passing" rating (explained below.)

WQ = Well Qualified; Q = Qualified; NQ = Not Qualified; sm = substantial majority; m = majority; min = minority Circuit court nominees are printed in bold.

Unanimous committee ratings appear as a single rating. In other situations, the rating from the majority or substantial majority (constituting ten to thirteen votes) of the committee is recorded first, followed by the rating or ratings of a minority of the committee. The majority rating is the rating of the committee.
Terrence Boyle
In United States v North Carolina, a case that asserts that the North Carolina prison system had been discriminating in its hiring practices against women, the parties agreed to settle, however Boyle decided that he would not approve the settlement and provisionally threw out the entire case, ignoring the Attorney Generals authority, the plain language of the law (Title VII & amendments) and singlehandedly overruled years of Supreme Court & Circuit Court precedent.

Boyles' rationale was that the settlement, in rewarding a monetary settlement to the women who were the victims of disctimination and fixing the hiring practices that resulted in a culture of discrimination, discrimination against men would occur. Boyle dismissed the statistical evidence that North Carolina hired 600 fewer female guards than it should have and the 37 women that came forward with stories of sex discrimination.

Boyle granted North Carolina's request to back away from their binding consent decree, however this decision was reversed by a unanimous opinion by the Fourth Circuit. The Fourth Circuit found that Boyle had "abused his discretion" in this matter and ordered Boyle to enter the consent decree.

There have also been several cases where Boyle has attempted to declare the Americans with Disablities Act (ADA) unconstitutional and a detriment to business--Brown v. North Carolina Div. Of Motor Vehicles, Pierce v. King, Williams v. Avnet, Inc. are all examples of cases where Boyle stepped outside the facts of the case to express his personal beliefs that the ADA is unreasonable.

It is difficult to fully evaluate Boyle because over his 20 years on the bench, he has chosen to only make public 389 opinions--or about 20 opinions a year. He has made final decisions in thousands of cases, so the fact that they remain private is troubling.

It is interesting to note that Boyle, a former aide to Jesse Helms, advanced as far as he did because Helms is his benefactor. He was appointed to the North Carolina district court by President Reagan as a favor to Helms, and then appointed to the Fourth Circuit court by the first President Bush at Helms' urging, and when President Clinton wouldn't renominate Boyle when his term lapsed, Helms refused to support any North Carolina nominees to the Fourth Circuit court and Orrin Hatch refused to hold hearings on any of the four nominees Clinton wanted to install on the 4th circuit. Helms was clear about the fact that he thought Clinton's nominees were qualified--but he wanted Boyle to be put on the court.

Senator Helms made clear that his opposition was not based on substantive concerns about the nominees’ records. Regarding Beatty, Helms stated: “Judge Beatty is a good man and I have no objection to him. But I think Judge Boyle deserves to be nominated, too . . . .” Helms went on to say: “I don’t think the president wants to be fair. He doesn’t want ‘you-takeone, I-take-one.’ He wants it all his way, and I'm stopping that.”

The question is, how many debts does Boyle have to pay back for his being parked on the bench?

Boyle has had a highest percentage of decisions overruled by higher courts--over 150--because of errors in judgement, mistakes, and simple incompetence.

The Fourth Circuit Court, one of the most conservative courts, has reversed his decisions twice as often as other judges, which is alarmingly high. In many cases, Boyle has made procedural mistakes that have led to reprimands and even situations where a criminal defendent is kept from justice, and these seem to be related to his beliefs that certain individuals do not deserve to be before the court.

Boyle has had decisions reversed for violating the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by failing to allow the plaintiff to be heard when a motion to dismiss has been made before converting to a summary judgement. This occurred in United States v. Wilson, and he was reversed by the Fourth Circuit Court--but then went on to make the same error again in three subsequent cases.

Boyle has also been critized by the Fourth Circuit Court for throwing out cases without considering the facts presented. This happened in Fuller vs. White, when a pregnant woman claimed that a guard used excessive force and caused her to miscarry--and Boyle ignored contradicting affidavits (his decision was reversed.) Ignoring supporting evidence also caused Boyle to be reversed in Moore v. Morton.

There have also been critical mistakes made in criminal cases that caused Boyles decisions to be vacated. In United States v. Hanno, Boyles' errors in standard jury selection procedures caused the conviction to be vacated and a new trial to be held. In United States v. Talley, Boyle overruled defense attorney's objections to improper evidence introduced in a closing argument--clearly not allowed. Again, the conviction was vacated by the Fourth Circuit for Boyle's error.

The Supreme Court reversed both of Boyle's voting right's decisions--Cromartie v. Hunt and Easley v. Cromartie for ignoring evidence in reverse-racism gerrymandering cases.

Many of the decisions in which Boyle committed errors have not been published, so the record is incomplete, but the cases that have been published indicate that he is either unaware of judicial procedure or unwilling to follow the law.

Received a rating of WQ from the American Bar Association (explained below.)

WQ = Well Qualified; Q = Qualified; NQ = Not Qualified; sm = substantial majority; m = majority; min = minority Circuit court nominees are printed in bold.

Unanimous committee ratings appear as a single rating. In other situations, the rating from the majority or substantial majority (constituting ten to thirteen votes) of the committee is recorded first, followed by the rating or ratings of a minority of the committee. The majority rating is the rating of the committee.

William Pryor
The main complaint against Pryor is that he cannot keep his personal bias against minorities and his religious beliefs from the courtroom. He voluntarily wrote a dissenting opinion in Lawrence & Garner v State of Texas that overturned Bowers v Hardwick, which upheld that it was illegal for homosexuals to have consensual sex in the privacy of one's home in Texas. In his brief, he claimed that if same-sex sodomy was legal, it would be difficult to prosecute cases involving "prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia." Pryor's brief described the consequences of homosexual sex as harmful as it "expose[s] both the individual and the public to deleterious spiritual and physical consequences."

Pryor also declared that it was unconstitutional to deny women admission to the Virginia Military Institute "antidemocratic and insensitive to federalism." He also ruled that handcuffing prisoners to an outdoor hitching post for seven hours in the hot sun without water or bathroom breaks doesn't constitute cruel and unusual punishment. He has consistently issued rulings and opinions that argue against Constitutional protections in cases that involve age discrimination, protections for rape victims, racial minorities, gay rights, and school prayer. He would like to abolish the notion of seperation of church and state and dismantle federal protections for individuals.


Pryor helped found and lead the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), which raises campaign donations from corporations that its members, as attorneys general, may have a duty to investigate, prosecute or sue. Documents disclosed after Pryor's Senate confirmation hearing show that Pryor may not have been candid with the Judiciary Committee about his knowledge of and personal participation in RAGA fundraising from Alabama companies, companies doing business in Alabama, and tobacco companies. He testified, for example, that he was unaware whether RAGA solicited tobacco companies. But the disclosed documents reportedly show that Pryor himself was assigned to solicit two large tobacco companies that ultimately donated $25,000 apiece.

Examples of Pryor using his position to further his personal agenda:

  • Pryor is closely aligned with the Bush administration, as he was co-chairman of the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. He was the only Attorney General to file an amicus brief in support of Bush v Gore, involving Florida election law, when he was in Alabama.
  • Also a supporter of the NRA and recipient of NRA legislator awards, he went out of his way to file a brief regarding gun laws in Texas (again, he was in Alabama.)
  • As an ally of big Tobacco, his personal interests compelled him to oppose a lawsuit against the tobacco industry that cost Alabama residents billions of dollars in relief.

Received a rating of Q(sm)/NQ(min) from the American Bar Association (explained below.)

WQ = Well Qualified; Q = Qualified; NQ = Not Qualified; sm = substantial majority; m = majority; min = minority Circuit court nominees are printed in bold.

Unanimous committee ratings appear as a single rating. In other situations, the rating from the majority or substantial majority (constituting ten to thirteen votes) of the committee is recorded first, followed by the rating or ratings of a minority of the committee. The majority rating is the rating of the committee.

Priscilla Owen
There is no question that Owen is a conservative--she is considered to be among the most conservative members of the Texas Supreme Court, which could be the most conserative supreme court in the country. Based on her rulings, she has consistently decided against individual claims against business, has shown that she is anti-abortion, and has issued dissenting opinions that are based on rhetoric instead of the principles of law.

A summary of some of her cases can be found here:

37% of the $1.4 million in campaign contributions raised by Owen were from lawyers and litigants involved in cases being argued in her court. Her largest campaign donor was Enron, and she rewarded them by subsequently authoring an opinion that overturned a lower-court ruling that would have cost them a quarter of a million dollars. She should have recused herself from the case.

Paid Karl Rove $250,000 to consult on her 1994 judicial campaign. Her nomination seems to be part of the long-term strategy to pack the 5th Circuit Court with conservative justices. During the Clinton years, the 5th circuit court was declared to be in a state of emergency due to the number of vacancies and the tremendous backlog of cases. Republicans, including Texas Senators Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchinson now lobbying on behalf of Owen, sat on all of Clintons nominees and Clinton left office with three vacancies on the court.

Also, the "family" of an anti-abortion activist John Leininger contributed over $12k to her two Supreme Court campaigns, and his contributions were also rewarded with all but one of the eleven decisions that she was involved in that required a Court ruling to exempt a teen from the Texas Parental Notification law that required parental notification if a teen wishes to obtain an abortion (the only opinion in favor was conditional if the 17 year old could prove her parents were abusive.)

Enron's political action committee gave Owen $8,600 for her successful Supreme Court bid in 1994. Two years later, Owen wrote the majority opinion that reversed a lower court order and reduced Enron's school taxes by $15 million. Since 1993, Enron contributed $134,058 — more than any other corporation — to Owen and other members of the Texas Supreme Court. A study by Texans for Public Justice found that the court ruled in Enron's favor in five out of six cases involving the company since 1993.

Received a rating of WQ from the American Bar Association (explained below.)

WQ = Well Qualified; Q = Qualified; NQ = Not Qualified; sm = substantial majority; m = majority; min = minority Circuit court nominees are printed in bold.

Unanimous committee ratings appear as a single rating. In other situations, the rating from the majority or substantial majority (constituting ten to thirteen votes) of the committee is recorded first, followed by the rating or ratings of a minority of the committee. The majority rating is the rating of the committee.

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 08:44 AM
See that is the problem that behind the "People of faith" propaganda is a more serious issue to be address, how much of your liberties are you willing to lose for these "people of faith" is not about "faith" and "good Christians persecution" these appointees are on an agenda and that agenda is for you and me to lose our rights in the name of "faith" and "the will of god"

Now the vice-president has make clear that he will push the agenda if is borough up to him by the senate majority.

Well he has the power to push what he wants.

Now the Democrats also can do something about it, and that is stop the business in the house.

Yes things are going to get very interesting in our white house with the balance of power.

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 11:36 AM

Originally posted by marg6043
See that is the problem that behind the "People of faith" propaganda is a more serious issue to be address, how much of your liberties are you willing to lose for these "people of faith" is not about "faith" and "good Christians persecution" these appointees are on an agenda and that agenda is for you and me to lose our rights in the name of "faith" and "the will of god"

Absolutely, marg.

What I don't get is that why any individual--regardless of your faith, would be behind a nominee like Janice Brown, William Pryor, or Priscilla Owen-these people want to do away with Constitutional protections for age and gender discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and severely limit legal recourse for the individual when they have been discriminated against.

And Terrence Boyle just has disdain for the law--disregarding procedures and ignoring well-established precedent at his whim. I am not sure why anyone would want to promote such a judge to a higher court.

Faith is being used to blind people to the truth about these nominees.

So what if Janice Brown is against abortion--if it was up to her, she would allow Dow Chemical to build a toxic waste dump next to your house..... She believes that it is unconstitutional for the government to impose limits on property owners--and has said so numerous times. Owen and Pryor would concur.

Imagine what America will look like once big business owns Congress, the President, AND the Courts...

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 12:15 PM
That is the problem, is not about “People of faith” like they are trying to feed the population with, is about political gains and aims.

Is not about abortion or gay marriage, but about money Carolyn Kuhl, was withdrawn because the environmental and consumer protections in the name of property rights, it wasn’t about “God” she careless about God will but interest will.

Priscilla Owen, she is one of Karl Rove’s protege. She loves corporations and as you can see the whole entire Bush administration has given more power than ever to big corporations.

Indeed the “Will of God”

So they are using the “Religious agenda” to make conservative Americans to be “offended” by the persecution of “People of faith”.

Look at Timothy Tymkovich and anti-gay that in Colorado went against Medicaid funding for abortion even in cases of “Rape and Incest”

John Roberts that wants Religious ceremonies in Schools.

Pennsylvania former attorney General Mike Fisher that his radical views on “God and Jesus” was to stop contraceptive services because of God and Jesus role in has in his life.

Who the heck care what his religious affiliation are? That is a private matter not to be used and push on others because his position in power.

That is the people that wants to whole key positions in our country, so under the flag of “God Will” they can push their agendas.

Perkins, Dobson and Frist are using Religion to their own advantage and to use it to gain power for what they are really aiming for, profits and power under the umbrella of “The Holy Spirit” while they are going to screw the rest of the nation.

BTW Big business owns American already, but the scary think is if they will own it under the Umbrella of the "Holy spirit" and the "Will of God"

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 07:09 PM
Enough with the whining! The Republican President won. He gets to select judges, it's his job. It is the job of Congress to approve or dissaprove them with a majority vote.

Democrats be patient, your day will come. When they decide to come up with some original ideas and stop bashing, demonizing, and outright lying about Republicans, they might start winning elections....
yeah right!

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 07:28 PM
Somebody is playing with my post, this was suppoused to be a double post.

[edit on 25-4-2005 by marg6043]

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 09:48 PM
Disgusting positively disgusting

Im gritting my teeth as I type this. Its taken me three attempts and a good ten minutes to get to the point where I can type a reply that wont violate the ATS Terms and Conditions of Use. Im going to keep this short because with every word I type the chances of me saying something I'll regret but this is intolerable and if this abomination is allowed to pass I can only shudder at what the future holds. Lets just say the chance of strife has never been greater and while liberals are stereotyped as being pacifistic and weak just remember something its just a stereotype. We're not all smiles and sunshine.

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 11:11 PM

Originally posted by Carseller4
When they decide to come up with some original ideas and stop bashing, demonizing, and outright lying about Republicans, they might start winning elections....
yeah right!

I was quoting actual speeches and decisions by these judges, so I'm not sure how you would construe that as "bashing, demonizing, and outright lying." If you have evidence that anything in my post is false, please share.

I'm not sure if you are aware, but these nominations are for life--and these judges will be closer to the Supreme Court.

I also wonder why you support these judges as they don't support your rights.

Should these nominees be confirmed, don't come crying to me when you find yourself fired right before you are eligible to retire and collect your pension or when you have a heart attack and need to take an extended leave of absence to recover... or when a developer buys the public forest behind your house, chops down the trees and builds a chemical waste dump, contaminating the water table, giving the entire town cancer, and rendering your property value worthless.... or should your seatbelt break when you are in an accident or if your child should drink glass shards in her milk. You will have no legal recourse as these judges don't believe in such silliness as constitutional protections for individuals, government property use-permits, and consumer rights.

It isn't about partisan politics--it is about being able to live our lives without being persecuted by our bosses, the government and majorities--and if you are persecuted, to be able to correct the harm for you and everyone who comes after you.

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 08:46 AM
Some of these are coming up today.

Get to know your future oppressors.

EDIT: Suprise, suprise. CNN advertiser "Prissy" Owen (currently in high paid rotation asking America for an up or down vote) is getting profiled in a CNN biography.

How brave.

[edit on 24-5-2005 by RANT]

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 12:18 PM
Owen got 81 votes for cloture, many Dems included obviously. Seems she wasn't so evil after all...

posted on May, 24 2005 @ 06:02 PM

Originally posted by djohnsto77
Owen got 81 votes for cloture, many Dems included obviously. Seems she wasn't so evil after all...

The vote had nothing to do with Owen or her qualifications (or lack thereof.) It had everything to do with the deal that was struck between the both sides to prevent Dem filibustering and Frist from going nuclear. An up or down vote for the nominees is being forced. The Dems have a 10 vote deficit--you do the math.

So what we wind up with when Owen gets confirmed is a judge who has issued decisions that favored the three largest corporations that donated to her campaign 85% of the 26 times they appeared in her courtroom.

Ethics much?

Or how about poor Willie Searcy? He was paralyzed and had to permanantly use a respirator when his seatbelt malfunctioned. He successfully sued Ford and won a judgement of $40 million--but never saw a dime and died because he couldn't afford the healthcare he needed.

Why? Because Prissy Owen SAT ON THE APPEAL FOR TWO YEARS even though both sides requested an expedited trial and then delayed the award by another year because she requested a retrial in a different venue--although this was a precedent-setting move that was completely unwarranted and blatantly favored the defendent. The new trial still favored Searcy, but unfortunately due to the substandard healthcare that he had been subjected to, Willie Searcy died four days after the money was finally awarded.

Oh, and BTW--the law firm handling the defense gave Owen a $20,000 campaign donation. Big surprise.

When Owen was questioned about the Searcy case during her confirmation hearing regarding the extraordinary length of time it took to rule on the case when she knew that it was a life threatening situation, Justice Owen simply replied "He didn't pass away while his case was before my court."

It doesn't get more evil than that.

And don't be surprised when Bill Pryor and Jan Brown get confirmed either. Although I'm not sure how anyone can find an argument in support for someone who believes that the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air/Water Acts and the New Deal are all unconstitutional.

Christian fundamentalists and traditional corporate conservatives won a big victory today--no matter what the uniformed mainstream media say. The more corporate-friendly radical judges that receive lifetime appointments, the more our personal freedoms erode. The Constitution will no longer apply for individuals and it will be twisted to benefit corporations.

Or in other words... got fascism?

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