60 Groups Demand Judiciary Cmte Do Its Job on Judges


ACRU Staff


July 26, 2007

The American Civil Rights Union is proud to be a signatory to this letter mentioned in the press release included below from the Committee for Justice and linked here (PDF document). Be sure to also read our own letter sent independently to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, “In Defense of Judge Southwick: An Open Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

60 Groups Demand Judiciary Cmte Do Its Job on Judges

Decry Character Assassination of Iraq War Vet Southwick

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, a coalition of about 60 organizations – including the Committee for Justice (CFJ) – delivered a letter to each of the 19 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing deep concern that the “lack of progress in reporting judicial nominees out of committee . . . has made it impossible for the Senate to fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent in good faith.”

The letter reminds the senators that “[t]he American people want you to do your job, [including] processing and voting on the President’s judicial nominees.” It explains that “[t]he broken promises and personal attacks on nominees that have accompanied this inaction . . . only add to the public perception that your committee is not living up to its responsibilities.”

The coalition decries the fact that some of “the nominees are being subjected to obstruction borne of partisan politics” and cites as a prime example the “ugly campaign of character assassination” against Judge Leslie Southwick, an Iraq War veteran nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Southwick is rated “unanimously well-qualified” by the American Bar Association. “The American people will ask why you put the demands of [liberal] special interest groups above the fair treatment of a man who interrupted a highly successful career to serve his country in Iraq,” the letter notes.

The letter concludes by asking that Judiciary Committee members “allow the Senate to fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent, by ensuring that each and every judicial nominee is given a hearing and is reported out of committee for consideration by the full Senate in a timely manner. . . . In other words, we ask only that you do your job by putting statesmanship above politics and special interests.”

“Special interest groups on the Left hold a lot of sway over Democratic senators on the judges issue,” explained CFJ executive director Curt Levey. “But it is the responsibility of Senate Democrats to stick to their earlier promises about confirming Judge Southwick, and it is the responsibility of Republican senators to fight for this exceptionally qualified nominee. That responsibility needs to start in the Judiciary Committee.”

Click here for the full text of the letter, including a list of signers..

The Committee for Justice is a non-partisan, non-profit organization devoted to promoting constitutionalist judicial nominees and the rule of law.



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