Senate Will Continue Debate on Anti-Environmental Judicial Nominee Owen

Forty-four Senators oppose effort to push through controversial nominee


Glenn Sugameli, 202-667-4500, x. 221

Earthjustice applauds the 44 Senators who successfully opposed an effort today to cut off debate on one of President Bush’s most controversial nominees to the federal bench, state court judge Priscilla Owen, who has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

“The Senate has confirmed well over 100 of the Bush administration’s lifetime nominees to federal courts without opposition from environmental or other groups, but Priscilla Owen is a particularly egregious example of extremist nominees that President Bush has chosen for key courts,” said Glenn Sugameli, Senior Legislative Counsel at Earthjustice, the nation’s largest non-profit environmental law firm. “The Senate’s constitutional duty of advise and consent requires it to block the worst-of-the-worst lifetime nominees, including Priscilla Owen, who has a clear record of anti-environmental judicial activism.”

In September 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee defeated the original nomination of Priscilla Owen, but President Bush resubmitted this controversial nominee to the Republican-controlled Senate this January. Earthjustice and other national environmental and public interest groups have formally opposed Priscilla Owen’s nomination, citing serious concerns over opinions she has written that would elevate the interests of polluters over the rights of neighbors and the public, deny citizens access to public information about polluters, and unfairly turn federal safety and environmental minimums into maximums that would bar common law State remedies.


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