by Steven Ertelt
April 21, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Senate Judiciary Committee approved two pro-life nominees selected by President George W. Bush for federal appeals courts. The votes move the nominees to the Senate floor, where pro-abortion Democrats are expected to filibuster them.
That sets up the showdown political observers have expected over changing the rules to prevent filibusters from being used to stop up or down votes on Bush’s pro-life picks for federal courts.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nominations of Texas Supreme Court judge Priscilla Owen and California Supreme Court judge Janice Rogers Brown for 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia respectively.
The panel voted on 10-8 party line votes on both candidates with Republicans voting to approve their nominations and Democrats opposing the two women.
"In the last Congress, these highly qualified women were blocked by a partisan filibuster when Democrats refused to give them an up or down vote," Republican Leader Bill Frist said in a statement. "Soon, all 100 senators will have to decide if these highly qualified candidates will get a fair up or down vote on the Senate floor."
A leading pro-abortion Democrat says the duo will again be the victims of a filibuster.
"They deserved to be rejected before,” said Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. "They deserve to be rejected again.”
Brown and Owen have drawn criticism from abortion advocates because of their pro-life positions.
In 1997, Brown issued a well-researched dissent in a case where the California Supreme Court overturned a pro-life law requiring abortion facilities to obtain parental consent before performing an abortion on a teenage girl.
She also dissented in a decision requiring Catholic Charities to pay for contraception coverage in employee health insurance plans. The decision concerns pro-life groups because it could lead to a requirement that abortion be covered as well.
Owen drew the ire of pro-abortion groups because she, as a member of the Texas Supreme Court, agreed with a majority of justices who upheld the state’s parental notification law and denied abortions to several teenagers who sought a judicial bypass.
Brown and Owen had their nominations approved by the committee before but were one of more than a dozen court nominees subject to Democratic filibusters. President Bush renominated a slate of judges earlier this year.
ACTION: Contact your senators and urge support for President Bush’s judicial picks. You can find contact information for any senator at https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm