WASHINGTON - June 8 - Following a carefully scripted backroom deal, today the U.S. Senate shirked its constitutional role to meaningfully advise and consent on judicial nominations and, on a 56-43 vote, confirmed the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
"Brown's Neanderthal judicial record makes her absolutely unfit for service on the second highest court in the land, and every Senator who voted for her should be ashamed," said National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy. "A lawless, strong-arm stunt, where Republicans threatened to 'go nuclear' in order to confirm Brown and her ilk, provoked this confirmation vote — which is an assault on all of the rights for which we have fought so hard."
On the heels of the confirmation of judicial activist Priscilla Owen, who was beholden to large corporations and has no respect for a young woman's right to reproductive choice, the Senate has confirmed to the D.C. Circuit a woman who wants to revoke the New Deal and return us to an era where employees have no rights, and who was the lone vote to overturn a rape conviction, saying that the 17-year-old victim might have sent "mixed signals."
Tomorrow, William Pryor, Jr., who argued to overturn a key part of the Violence Against Women Act and has called abortion "an abomination," could be rewarded with a lifetime appointment to one of the highest courts of the land. The elevation of William Pryor, Jr., to the U.S. Court of Appeals is a slap in the face to women, people of color, people with disabilities, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and anyone who believes in the separation of church and state.
"The Bush administration and Senate Republican leaders are using these confirmations to pave the way for a Supreme Court battle, and Senators who ought to know better are letting them," said Gandy.