Bush to Resubmit Extreme Right-Wing Nominees to Federal Bench
President Bush has announced that he will re-nominate five of his most contentious nominees to serve on federal appellate courts when the Senate reconvenes next week. The nominations were returned to Bush when the Senate recessed in August. Senate Democrats blocked attempts by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) to waive the rule that returns all nominees to the President when the Senate recesses for more than 30 days.
Included on the list is District Court Judge Terrence Boyle, a former aide to Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), who was blocked by Democrats when he was first nominated to serve on the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. Boyle, one of President Bush’s most controversial nominees, has issued numerous opinions hostile to affirmative action, women’s rights, fair employment, and voting rights. The most recent controversy surrounding Boyle is a report that reveals that he failed to recuse himself from nine cases in which he had a conflict of interest. Although Boyle was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, his nomination did not reach the Senate floor for a vote.
Bush will also resubmit the nomination of William J. Haynes II for the 4th Circuit. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) wrote about Haynes in an opinion piece in the Washington Post, “Nominations do not get much worse than this…Haynes does not come anywhere close to the commitment to fundamental rights and the principle of separation of powers that we all expect from the federal courts. He would be a poster boy on the 4th Circuit for denying the rule of law…”
The third on this list of five nominees is Norman Randy Smith of Idaho, who has a long history of representing Idaho’s large corporate interests, according to Alliance for Justice. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the only woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has vowed to block from a seat on the 9th Circuit that is traditionally held by a Californian according to the Legal Times. William Myers III, also from Idaho and to be nominated to the 9th Circuit, was previously blocked by a Democratic filibuster and then re-nominated. Patrick Leahy, (D-VT), ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said that Myers was blocked for being “the most anti-environmental nominee sent to the Senate...”
Bringing up the rear is the nomination of Michael B. Wallace to the 5th Circuit. Wallace, a former aide to Senator Trent Lott (D-MS), has the distinction of being the first appellate court nominee in 25 years to be given a rating of “unqualified” to sit on the federal bench by the American Bar Association.
Media Resources: White House Press Office 8/30/06; CQ Today 8/17/06; Washington Post, 8/31/06; Alliance for Justice; Feminist Daily News Wire, 3/2/05, 7/21/06
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .