The National Organization for Women applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee’s rejection of Priscilla Owen, a right-wing ideologue nominated to the Court of Appeals by the Bush administration. We share Senator Dianne Feinstein’s regret in opposing the elevation of a woman to a position of power that is too often denied to women because of the glass ceiling; but in this case, one woman’s advancement would have threatened the advancement of all women’s rights.

If confirmed, Owen would have served for a lifetime on a court that is already dominated by conservatives hostile to women’s rights and civil rights. Her judicial record has made it abundantly clear that, if elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals, she would have worked to curtail the reproductive rights of all women, especially young women, and limit the rights of consumers and employees.

“We’ve seen Judge Owen use the courtroom to further her narrow beliefs and ideals, going so far as to virtually re-write laws rather than fairly interpret them,” stated NOW President Kim Gandy. “The last thing the Fifth Circuit needs is another judge who can’t leave her political ideology at the courthouse door.”

“NOW thanks those Senators who voted to reject this nomination and asks President Bush to reconsider his decision to persist in bringing extreme right-wing ideologues to the Senate for confirmation,” said Gandy.