Civil Rights, Environmental, and Labor Organizations Join in Opposition to Bush’s Extremist Judicial Nominees

Media 01.27.03

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Citing President Bush’s dangerous plan to pack the federal courts with right-wing extremists. Wade Henderson, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, today announced the mobilization of an unprecedented coalition of progressive groups to oppose judicial nominees clearly outside of the mainstream.

“We are united today in the belief that the composition of the federal judiciary is a civil rights issue of profound importance to all Americans,” said Henderson. “Whether we are talking about civil rights and equal opportunity, environmental protection, rights of workers, or women’s equality, we are in agreement that President Bush’s nominees have a record of antagonism to these fundamental American values.”

“We are gravely concerned that many individuals who have been nominated by President Bush to serve on the federal bench have records of deep hostility to core civil and human rights principles and to Congress’s historic role in protecting the rights of all Americans,” continued Henderson.

“President Bush’s latest round of nominations is just the most recent example of his campaign to pack the federal judiciary with individuals whose views are far outside America’s mainstream,” said Henderson. “Regardless of the outcome of the election, there is no mandate from the American people for a right-wing judiciary. If the Senate votes to approve these nominees, America will have to live with the consequences for a lifetime,” continued Henderson.

“For many years, the federal courts have been an important bulwark for safeguarding civil and constitutional rights and liberties, and environmental protections,” Henderson added. “However, President Bush’s efforts to appease his right-wing supporters have led him to put forward nominees who will use their lifetime appointments to roll back the clock on a variety of rights that are important to most Americans. Nominees such as Terrence Boyle, Jay Bybee, Miguel Estrada, Carolyn Kuhl, David McKeague, Priscilla Owen, Charles Pickering, Jeffrey Sutton, and Timothy Tymkovich, among others, will work to undo the gains of the last 50 years.”

Concluded Henderson, “The battle lines are drawn. Americans in 2002 did not give President Bush a blank check to pack the federal courts with right-wing radicals who seek to roll back years of progress in civil rights, workers’ rights, women’s equality and environmental protection. If these nominations are examples of ‘compassionate conservatism,’ then jelly donuts are the nutritional equivalent of ‘fruit and fiber.'”