Today, President Bush formally re-submitted twelve controversial nominees to lifetime seats on the federal appeals courts. These re-nominations include several individuals who were blocked by the Senate during the last Congress because of their extreme views on environmental and other issues.
“President Bush picked Valentine’s Day to send a message of confrontation to the Senate. He apparently has no intention of trying to heal the wounds he caused when he nominated these individuals the first time around, after it became clear that their records showed a pattern of clear and unjustifiable hostility to environmental protections,” said Earthjustice Senior Legislative Counsel Glenn Sugameli. “Americans should be asking why President Bush refuses to find mainstream nominees to fill lifetime seats on our federal courts.”
The names resubmitted today include former mining industry lobbyist William G. Myers III, whose record led to unprecedented opposition from Native American, environmental, and other public interest groups. As the Interior Department’s top lawyer, Myers:
- repudiated his predecessor’s legal opinion to clear the way for a rejected cyanide heap-leach gold mine that would devastate sacred tribal lands. Myers ignored Interior’s trust responsibility to tribes by meeting with the mining company and failing to consult with the affected tribe, which had requested a meeting.
- had his position reversed by the Interior Department after it was discovered that he had supported giving valuable public land to a mining company without even checking with the local Interior office, which strongly opposed the giveaway because land records showed the company lacked any lawful claim to the land. (L.A.Times 3/8/04)
The Senate has already confirmed 204 of President Bush’s judicial nominees to federal appeals courts and district courts, far more than were confirmed during President Clinton’s first term.
“In approving more than 200 of the President’s judicial nominees, the Senate has proven that it will confirm conservative judges who don’t have records of hostility toward environmental and other fundamental safeguards,” said Sugameli.
For more information on the environmental records of the resubmitted judicial nominees, visit Judging the Environment