08.02.06

Kennedy, Schumer And Texans To Detail How Judge Owens Extremist Decisions Have Harmed Texans

Today is 4 Year Anniversary of Nomination of Out of Mainstream JudgesOwen Nomination Seen As Trigger for Nuclear Option; Judge Doesnt Meet High Standards for Lifetime Judicial AppointmentsSchumer: When You Look up Judicial Activist in the Dictionary, You See a Picture of Priscilla Owen

U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy, joined by Texans for Public Justice, and the Texas Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, will the discuss the human cost of Judge Priscilla Owens record of extreme and activist decisions. Schumer, Kennedy, and others oppose this particular candidate for lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

Sen. Schumer said, If there was ever a judge who would substitute her own views for the law, it is Judge Owen. Her record is a paper trail of case after case where she thinks she knows better than 100 years of legal tradition and clear legislative intent. There is no question that when you look up judicial activist in the dictionary, you see a picture of Priscilla Owen.

Sen. Kennedy said, Our children know that you can�t change the rules just to get your way, but Washington Republicans seem to have forgotten this lesson. The nomination of Priscilla Owen is a glaring example of their arrogant attitude she shouldn�t be confirmed regardless of what rules are in effect. She was elected to the Texas Supreme Court with donations from Enron and other big companies, and she has consistently ruled against workers, consumers, and the most vulnerable members of our society.

Judge Owens activism and extremism has manifested itself in cases dealing with business interests, malpractice, access to public information, and employment discrimination, in which she rules against individual plaintiffs time and time again:

In re Jane Doe B Judge Owen's dissent came under fire from her colleagues of the Texas Supreme Court. They referred to her legal approach as an effort to "usurp the legislative function." Then Justice Alberto Gonzalez, now U.S. Attorney General, wrote a separate opinion chastising the dissenting judges including Justice Owen: He said that to construe the law as the dissent did "would be an unconscionable act of judicial activism."


In Montgomery Independent School District v. Davis B the majority, which also included Judge Gonzales, ruled in favor of a teacher who had been wrongly dismissed by her employer. Justice Owen dissented, siding against the employee. The majority, including Judge Gonzales, wrote that Athe dissenting opinion's misconception Y stems from its disregard of the [rules] the Legislature established."


In Texas Department of Transportation v. Able B Justice Gonzales also took Justice Owen to task for her activism, indicating that she had misunderstood the plain intent of the state legislature.


In FM Properties v. City of Austin, the majority called her dissent, nothing more than inflammatory rhetoric.



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