Project 21 Press Release: Black Activists Ask Bush to Consider Constructionist Jurists for Supreme Court; List of Characteristics Important to Black Americans Cited

Today’s announcement of a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court provides President George W. Bush with an important duty that has the potential to affect judicial decision-making for generations to come. Members of the black leadership network Project 21 are calling upon the President to ensure that all nominees under consideration will preserve and protect the U.S Constitution.

Peter Kirsanow, a Project 21 member and commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said: “I’m confident that the President will nominate someone with integrity and wisdom who understands that the proper role of a Supreme Court justice is to interpret the text of the Constitution, rather than, as Justice Thomas put it, promote ‘the faddish slogans of the cognoscenti.'”

A disturbing legal practice called “judicial activism” has been used to legitimize flag-burning, decreased private property rights protections and legalized partial-birth abortions against both popular opinion and legislative and constitutional direction. In response to the ongoing threat posed by this activism, Project 21’s Judicial Working Group has compiled a list of criteria that President Bush and his advisors should consider when evaluating Supreme Court candidates:

* A commitment to a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

* Recognition of the importance of letting the state governments decide matters that exclusively involve state business.

* Uphold the Judeo-Christian heritage on which our nation and the Constitution were based.

* Be dedicated to individual rights and private property rights.

* Stand for the law over politics and not legislate from the courtroom.

* Have the conviction not to waver when pressured by outside influences.

Throughout his re-election campaign, President Bush promised, “I will continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law.”

“We are not looking for a liberal or a conservative jurist to replace Sandra Day O’Connor. We are looking for a strict constructionist,” said Project 21 member Mychal Massie. “We are looking for someone who can uphold the Constitution, not rewrite it.”

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 are 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, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at New Visions Commentaries can be found at

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.