WASHINGTON -- May 19 -- The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) called upon the United States Senate to reject the nominations of Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen to federal Court of Appeals judgeships. The nominees of President Bush are being pushed forward amidst threats of a filibuster by Democratic Senators and threats by Republicans to force a vote on an end to the institution of the filibuster.
The Lawyers Guild denounced both nominees as right-wing extremists who are inappropriate candidates for service on the federal bench. The Guild noted that Justice Brown, now a member of the California Supreme Court, had twice been rejected by ABA panels as unfit for service and had been repeatedly criticized by her colleagues on the California Court for her extreme views. NLG President Michael Avery said, Justice Brown has even gone so far as to characterize the 1937 New Deal decisions of the United States Supreme Court as having brought a socialist revolution to this country. If we have socialism in the United States, I havent noticed it. The fact is that Justice Brown is such an advocate for big business that any regulation of corporate interests is too much socialism for her.
The Lawyers Guild also pointed to current Texas Supreme Court Justice Owens sympathies for corporate interests, noting that she had accepted campaign contributions from Enron and Halliburton and then sat on cases involving these companies and issued decisions in their favor. Justice Owen routinely backs corporate interests against those of workers and consumers.
The Lawyers Guild cautioned that most of President Bushs judicial nominees are part of a dangerous pattern that would radically alter the prevailing judicial philosophy of the last seventy years. The result would be to drastically reduce the regulation of corporate interests across the board, to the detriment of labor, the environment, minorities, shareholders, and consumers. The Guild called upon ordinary Americans to let their Senators know that working people, women, minorities, consumers and small shareholders do not support the philosophy of nominees such as Justice Brown and Justice Owen.
The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, comprises over 6,000 members and activists in the service of the people. Its national office is headquartered in New York and it has chapters in nearly every state, as well as over 100 law school chapters.