WASHINGTON, DC — More than one year after President George W. Bush nominated Justice Priscilla Owen of the Texas Supreme Court to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Senate Judiciary Committee stands ready to hold hearings on Justice Owen’s nomination. The Independent Women’s Forum urges the Committee to consider the nominee’s qualifications over the strident objections of radical feminists and partisan special interests.

“Justice Owen is superbly qualified for service on the federal bench,” says IWF Senior Fellow for Legal Policy Jennifer C. Braceras. “She is a judge who clearly understands that the role of a judge is to interpret the law, not to legislate from the bench.” That understanding is endorsed by the mainstream of American women.

Justice Owen has served with distinction as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court since 1994. The American Bar Association unanimously rated Justice Owen “well-qualified,” its highest possible rating. This rating has been called the “Gold Standard” by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.

In spite of Justice Owen’s stellar credentials and outstanding reputation as a jurist, radical feminist groups are now mobilizing to block her confirmation.

“We reject the efforts by extremist groups to distort Justice Owen’s record,” comments Braceras. “The irony, of course, is that the same radical feminists who have long complained about the need to break the ‘glass ceiling’ in order to allow more women to succeed at the very highest levels of their professions are now trying to prevent qualified female nominees from taking their seats on the federal bench.”

IWF calls upon the United States Senate to reject partisan smear campaigns and confirm Justice Owen with all deliberate speed.

The Independent Women’s Forum, founded in 1992, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.