WASHINGTON, DC — Democrats may celebrate Women’s History Month, but they are doing everything in their power to block the appointments of a number of highly qualified women President Bush has nominated for the federal bench. Among the distinguished female jurists nominated to serve on the United States Courts of Appeal — but who made the Democrat hit list — are Texas Justice Priscilla Owen and California Judge Carolyn Kuhl. IWF strongly supports the confirmation of Owen and Kuhl and hope “feminists” in the U.S. Senate will drop their opposition to these two distinguished jurists.

IWF Program Director Patricia Reed notes: “In the field of law, women have made incredible strides. Kuhl and Owen richly deserve to sit on this bench.”

Judge Carolyn Kuhl, who currently sits on the Superior Court of California, has been nominated by the President to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth circuit. A graduate of Princeton University and Duke Law School, Judge Kuhl has served in the United States Justice Department as Deputy Solicitor General, where she argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court.

Justice Priscilla Owen, whom the President has nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, became a member of the Texas Supreme Court in 1994. A partner at a major national law firm, Justice Owen has practiced commercial litigation for seventeen years.

“The failure of Senate Democrats to consider the merits of female judicial nominees will only hinder the achievements of women in the legal arena. Senator Orrin Hatch, one of the Senate co-sponsors of National Women’s History Week and a strong advocate for female judicial nominees, has said that Democratic opposition to these female judicial nominees amounts to nothing less than a new ‘glass ceiling’ in the federal judiciary. And he’s right,” says Reed.

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