National Women's Leader: Senate Must Reject Unfit Judicial Nominees
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — February 7, 2008 —
“Make no mistake, the real problem with the judicial nomination process is that President Bush has stubbornly and consistently put forward nominees who are far outside the judicial mainstream, and who do not respect the rights of women, people of color, workers, seniors, immigrants and others at risk for discrimination.
President Bush has chosen the most divisive course possible by ignoring consensus candidates in favor of controversial judicial nominees whose records suggest that they may not administer the law fairly. He would sacrifice the integrity and independence of our courts to partisan politics and political agendas.
The Senate is right — and indeed has a responsibility — to conduct a thorough, comprehensive review of every nominee’s record to determine whether she or he merits confirmation. In but two examples: Richard Honaker, who has been nominated to the District Court of Wyoming, and Steve Matthews, a nominee to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, are controversial for good reason. Mr. Honaker’s history of anti-choice activities and rhetoric has raised serious questions about his willingness to apply the law in a fair manner, and Mr. Matthews’ record raises real concerns about his commitment to protecting critical civil rights.
We believe it is essential for the Senate to act responsibly without succumbing to partisan pressures from the White House or anyone else. They should refuse to confirm any nominee who has not demonstrated a commitment to equal justice for all, and that she or he will be fair and even-handed in applying the law.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.