Supreme Court and Other Federal Judicial Nominations No. 270A
President George W. Bush has taken an extremist approach to judicial nominations, selecting individuals who have stated that Roe v. Wade is "an abominable decision" and conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami."
While we are deeply concerned about the composition of the federal judiciary as a whole, we are especially alarmed about the highest court in the land - the U.S. Supreme Court. The President's attempt to bring his uncompromising, ultra-conservative philosophy of the Federal Justice system to the ultimate arbiter of our nation's laws is becoming reality. The long-term impact is eroding many rights and settled laws we hold dear, including:
- A woman's right to choose.
- The government's ability at the local, state and federal levels to legislate and enforce civil rights for all Americans, including minorities, people of color, women, people with disabilities, the aged, gays, lesbians, and bisexual and transgendered individuals.
- The federal government's ability to protect endangered species and the environment.
- The fragile separation between church and state.
- Workers' basic right to unionize and bargain collectively as well as work under nationally legislated fair labor standards.
- The uniform enforcement and protection of federal laws.
- The ability of government at all levels to protect consumers, stakeholders, and workers from unfair and corrupt business practices.
- Access to federal courts, including the right to sue state governments for violations of federal law.
Because federal judges are appointed to terms with lifetime tenure, the choices the President and the U.S. Senate make will have a long-term impact on our country. Once they are appointed, we will have to live with the consequences of their decisions for many years to come. Therefore it is essential that we act now to ensure that the basic principles of our country are not undermined by a Bush judiciary. The American people do not want to roll back progress made over the last fifty years nor do they want judges who espouse extremist views. Therefore, ADA:
- Urges the President to nominate individuals whose records and opinions demonstrate their commitment to established Constitutional guarantees and to a Constitutional jurisprudence that respects federal authority.
- Calls upon President Bush to return to the prior policy of considering the non-partisan American Bar Association's assessment of candidates, rather than relying solely on ideological groups in recommending appointments to the federal bench.
- Urges the U.S. Senate to exercise vigorously its Constitutional responsibility of advice and consent and to utilize all procedural and substantive tools available to make certain that judges are appointed not only on the basis of merit, legal competence and commitment to the American precedent of expanding, not narrowing, individual rights, but also on the basis of fully disclosed political and ideological views.
- Urges Senators to oppose any nominee who does not support women's rights, civil rights, civil liberties, workers' rights, and the federal authority to enforce these rights.
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Political and Governmental Commission