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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Latest Round of Nominees a Mixed Bag

On Monday, the president nominated a slew of new federal judges. He finally renominated Raymond Kethledge and Stephen Murphy for spots on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. These nominations were part of a deal worked out in the last Congress which also included the nominations of several district court judges, including Janet Neff. Janet Neff’s nomination, along with those of the other judges in the package deal, were stalled because one senator was concerned that Neff once attended a family friend's lesbian commitment ceremony. President Bush then failed to renominate Neff and the other judges at the beginning of the 110th Congress. However, they have all been renominated now, leading us to wonder if Senator Brownback has backed off his absurd position.

The president also nominated eight other men and women for district court judgeships across the country. One of those nominees is Richard Honaker of Wyoming. Several groups have expressed concern about Honaker’s nomination because, as a state representative, he introduced legislation that would have made abortion illegal in all cases except when a woman’s health was endangered or when she was the victim of rape or incest which she reported within five days. Richard Honaker also served as counsel for the Unseen Hands Prayer Circle Political Action Committee in a case against the Wyoming chapters of Planned Parenthood and NARAL regarding an unconstitutional ballot initiative that criminalized abortion from the moment of conception.

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