FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT
ON THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE VOTE ON PRISCILLA OWEN:
"Today 10 Senate Democrats killed the nomination of an intelligent and exceptional woman nominated to the federal bench by President Bush. I am disappointed that the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee denied the Senate its ability to exercise its constitutional duty, despite Chairman Leahy's stated position that, 'every Senator can vote against any nominee. Every Senator has that right. They can vote against them [in] this committee and on the floor. But it is the responsibility of the U.S. Senate to at least bring them to a vote.'*
"Priscilla Owen's legal qualifications are well-established and unimpeachable – and today marks the first time in U.S. history that a judicial nominee who has been unanimously rated 'well-qualified' by the ABA was voted down. In failing to provide Justice Owen with a hearing for over a year, and then summarily killing her nomination, Senate Democrats have indicated an unfortunate trend toward unfairness against qualified women nominated by this Administration. I urge Senate Democrats to schedule a hearing for the other nominees who have been waiting for over a year, such as Deborah Cook and Carolyn Kuhl – women who deserve a seat at the hearing table, a vote on the Senate floor, and a place on the bench."