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Owen is unfit for the federal bench

The problem with Owen is not so much that she is an "extreme right-wing judge", but rather that she is exactly the sort of "activist" judge who creates law in her opinions that the Republicans in Congress complain about.  Her opinions have been criticized in the harshest terms by such "progressives" as Alberto Gonzales and John Cornyn.

Here are some of the things that majority jurists have written about her dissents:
-In FM Properties v. City of Austin, the majority calls her dissent, "nothing more than inflammatory rhetoric."
-In Montgomery Independent School District v. Davis, the majority (which included Alberto Gonzales and two other Bush appointees) is quite explicit about its view that Owen's position disregards the law, saying that "nothing in the statute requires" what she says it does, and that, "the dissenting opinion's misconception . . . stems from its disregard of the procedural elements the Legislature established," and that the "dissenting opinion not only disregards the procedural limitations in the statute but takes a position even more extreme than that argued for by the board. . ."
-In In re Jane Doe, the majority includes an extremely unusual section explaining its view of the proper role of judges, admonishing the dissent joined by Justice Owen for going beyond its duty to interpret the law in an attempt to fashion policy, and in a separate concurrence, Justice Alberto Gonzales says that to the construe law as the dissent did, "would be an unconscionable act of judicial activism."
-In Weiner v. Wasson, in what reads as a lecture to the dissent, then-Justice John Cornyn (now Senator Cornyn) explains stare decisis on behalf of the majority, in language that would be used with a beginning law student.
-In In re Jane Doe 3, Justice Enoch writes specifically to rebuke Owen and her follow dissenters for misconstruing the legislature's definition of the sort of abuse that may occur when parents are notified of a minor's intent to have an abortion, saying, "abuse is abuse; it is neither to be trifled with nor its severity to be second guessed."

Judge Owen is the lunatic fringe of jurists and has no business being nominated to a lifetime, federal post.  I can't even begin to imagine what the motivation of the White House could be for such a nomination except to do as much damage to the judiciary as possible.  It's one thing to put an unfit jurist on the bench at a lower level in the food-chain, where her opinions could be reversed, to pay off a political debt, but this nomination smacks less of court-packing than arson.

by gdfrogsdong on May 19 at 8:04 AM EST


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