NCJW Denounces Senate Marathon Session on Judicial Nominations
BenchMark УFly inФ Brings NCJW Leaders to DC for Senate Meetings

November 12, 2003, Washington, DC Ц The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has denounced the extraordinary effort by the Senate leadership to force a vote on three right wing nominees to the US Circuit Courts of Appeals. At a press conference today, NCJW President Marsha Atkind made the following statement:

УThe extraordinary effort by the Senate majority to hold a session for 30 consecutive hours in order to force votes on three right wing judicial nominees marks a new escalation in the effort to put the judicial branch of the federal government under the influence of right wing ideologues with an anti-women, anti-civil rights agenda. We understand that three female nominees will be offered up as a group, in order to foster the impression that those opposing them are anti-women. This would be laughable were the consequences of this debate not so serious.

УThe Senate has a critical role to play in the confirmation process. Surely that role includes the duty to dissent when the President nominates judges Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and Carolyn Kuhl who subscribe to views far outside the mainstream of American values and of legal precedent Ц views that would compromise our fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to privacy and reproductive freedom. The 90,000 members and supporters of the National Council of Jewish Women are outraged at this effort to pack the courts with right wing ideologues. Representatives of NCJWТs grassroots from across the country have flown into Washington to meet today with their senators to express our support for a fair process and balanced outcome in the confirmation of judges to the federal bench.

УThe Senate has long had a tradition embodied in its rules that protects the ability of the minority to affect the outcome of legislation and executive branch nominations. This is a tradition those now in the majority were only too happy to use to their advantage when the tables were turned and they were in the minority. In order to force this vote, the Senate leadership is preparing to engage in an unprecedented manipulation of Senate rules. NCJW will not accept the portrayal of those opposing these nominees as obstructionists. Rather, they are patriots, committed to completing their constitutional duty to both advise and consent.Ф

NCJW is a volunteer organization, inspired by Jewish values, that works to improve the quality of life for women, children and families and to ensure individual rights and freedoms through research, education, advocacy, and community service programs initiated by its network of 90,000 volunteers, supporters and members nationwide. It has launched BenchMark: NCJW's Campaign to Save Roe, a national effort to educate and mobilize NCJW members, the Jewish community, and friends and allies everywhere to promote a federal bench with judges that support fundamental freedoms, including a woman's right to choose.