Civil Rights Coalition Applauds Senate for Vote Against Cloture on the Confirmation of William Meyers

Media 07.20.04

Citing his record of far-right extremism, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, today applauded the U.S. Senate for voting against cloture on the confirmation of William Myers to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“Clearly, this is a nominee who is unqualified for the federal bench,” said Wade Henderson, executive director of LCCR. “Myers shows a complete disregard for the rights and concerns of the Native American community, thinks property rights should be equated with the rights to free speech and equal protection, and seeks to limit Congress’s authority in such a way that could impact the civil rights of all Americans.”

“Myers’ nomination is of particular concern,” Henderson continued, “given that the Ninth Circuit is home to over one hundred Indian tribes, millions of Indian people, millions of acres of public land, and has jurisdiction over important federal and tribal lands management issues.”

Further, Myers’ has displayed a legal philosophy that would elevate property rights to a level of constitutional scrutiny reserved for fundamental rights, such as the right to free speech and equal protection. This elevation of property rights to the level of “fundamental” rights could be used to invalidate a wide range of important health, safety, and environmental regulations.

LCCR is also concerned with his limited view of Congress’ commerce power, and the implications that flow from that view as it impacts civil rights. His arguments for limiting Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution could be used to strike down a broad range of federal laws protecting the health, safety, and civil rights of all Americans.

“The Senate’s vote today against invoking cloture on Myers’ confirmation is a victory for the civil rights community and all Americans. On behalf of LCCR and the communities it represent, I thank the senators who voted in support of a fair and independent federal judiciary by rejecting the confirmation of William Myers,” Henderson concluded.