Don't Confirm Far-Right Judge Owen|
2002-07-21, 2:06 a.m.
Justice Priscilla Owen
Nominated to: Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
The Texas Lawyer describes Justice Owen as part of a bloc that “anchor[s] the conservative end” of the very conservative Texas Supreme Court.
Texans for Public Justice undertook a major study of campaign finance in the Texas Supreme Court campaigns, finding substantial evidence of potential for conflict of interest. The entire court is implicated, with the majority granting wins to top donors in twenty of 26, or 77% of cases. Justice Owen, however, has even a more disturbing record than the rest of the court, with 85% of her decisions, or 22 of 26, coming out in favor of her biggest campaign donors. Amongst the donors she favored in court was Enron.
She has consistently sought to restrict a woman's right to abortion, in spite of well-settled law to the contrary. The majority Texas Supreme Court justices have chastised Judge Owen, in written opinions, for imposing her "own personal convictions into what must be a strictly legal inquiry" [Jane Doe 1, 19 S.W.3d 346 (Tex. 2000)].
She also dissented from a ruling that upheld a jury verdict awarding a woman $160,000 in damages from a vacuum cleaner sales company after she was raped by one of the firm's door-to-door salesman. Owen argued that it was unreasonable to have expected the corporation to do the background check that would have revealed the man's previous arrest for indecency with a child.
The Republicans are pressuring the Senate Judiciary Committee to confirm Bush's reactionary right-wing appointees, blaming them for a "crisis in the judiciary" because of unfilled seats. Perhaps if the president were to make reasonable nominations, he could fill the vacancies left by the Republicans' repudiation of President Clinton's mainstream nominees.
Make sure that the Senate Judiciary Committee knows we, the people, know and appreciate that they are doing their job in standing up for our rights against Bush and his corporate cronies. Tell them not to approve Judge Owens, Bush's most right-wing nominee so far. Tell them to demand that the president sends them nominees who represent the people, not nominees who are in the pockets of big business, anti-choice, anti-worker, and anti-women.
Please contact your Senators, as well as the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and tell them DON'T CONFIRM JUDGE OWEN!
Call your Senators: 202-224-3121
Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats (email or call them all!):
"Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation." - Martin Luther King, Jr.