Two Years Is Too Long

In: All News   Posted 05/01/2003

In an unprecedented move, 44 U.S. Senators voted today to continue the filibuster of Justice Priscilla Owen, a nominee to a circuit court of appeals. Owen was nominated two years ago by President Bush to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Judiciary Committee and chairman of the subcommittee on the Constitution, called for an end to the obstruction and praised Owen’s record and abilities. "Throughout the entire history of the Senate, there has never been a filibuster of a circuit court nominee – now there are two,” Sen. Cornyn said. “This obstruction flies in the face of more than 200 years of Senate tradition, the constitutional role of the Congress, and the consent of the governed.” Sen. Cornyn continued: “Justice Owen is among the finest legal minds of our time. Unlike her partisan opponents and fringe special interest groups, I served with her on the Texas Supreme Court and know her to be a fair, reasonable and highly skilled member of the bench. The obstruction is wrong and must be stopped. Priscilla Owen, judicial nominees now and in the future, and the American people deserve better than the treatment they’ve received by this partisan minority of the Senate.” Sen. Cornyn will hold a hearing of the Constitution subcommittee on May 6 to discuss reform of the broken judicial process. The hearing, titled Judicial Nominations, Filibusters, and the Constitution: When a majority is denied its right to consent, will be held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226 at 2:30 p.m. The hearing will take place nearly two years after the President announced his first class of nominees to the federal courts of appeals, including Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen. Her nomination is currently being filibustered in the Senate. Sen. Cornyn chairs the subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Property Rights, and is the only former judge on the Judiciary Committee. He also serves on the Armed Services, Environment and Public Works, and Budget Committees. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.