18 May 2005 Project 21 Press Release: Black Activists Praise Priscilla Owen, Call Her “One of the Finest Jurists in the Country”
Activists from the black leadership network Project 21 are praising Senate leaders for their efforts to secure an up-or-down vote on the nomination of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen for a seat on the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, along with other judicial nominees. While they have not formally taken a position on Justice Brown’s confirmation, Project 21 members consider her an excellent judge.
“Priscilla Owen is one of the finest jurists in the country,” said Project 21 member Mychal Massie. “The fact that she has been forced to endure more than four years of public humiliation and character assassination is appalling. While her antagonists have tried to portray her as outside of the mainstream, quite the opposite is true. She is precisely the type of jurist our Founding Father intended to see in our courts.”
Justice Owen was originally nominated by President George W. Bush over four years ago on May 9, 2001. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the court to which she is nominated, has been designated as in a “judicial emergency” due to the court’s caseload and lack of sitting judges.
Justice Owen now serves on the Texas Supreme Court, where she was re-elected by 84 percent of Texas voters in 2000. Her nomination enjoys bi-partisan support, and she was unanimously awarded the American Bar Association’s highest rating.
The nomination of Justice Owen had previously been blocked by a filibuster organized by a minority of detractors in the Senate.
“Priscilla Owen is among the most respected judges from Texas,” notes Project 21 member Michael King. “Not only was she overwhelmingly supported by the voters, but she enjoys the respect and admiration of her peers as well.”
Project 21 takes no position on the confirmation of any particular judicial nominee, but believes that it is in the best interest of the United States that judicial vacancies be filled with appropriate speed.
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information visit Project 21’s website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.