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Opponents ‘hiding from debate’ on judicial nominees, says legal expert
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.- Democratic senators refuse to vote on President George Bush’s judicial nominees, claiming they are “extreme.” But Wendy Long, former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, says their opponents are really “hiding from a debate, and hiding from a vote, precisely because these highly qualified judges are the mainstream.”

Long was referring in particular to judicial nominees Justice Priscilla Owen of Texas and Justice Janice Rogers Brown of California.

In an opinion piece published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Long described the two judges as “intellectual stars on the courts where they now sit.”

The two judges “have the overwhelming bipartisan support of the citizens of their states, the American Bar Association, the bench and bar, and newspapers across the political spectrum,” wrote the legal counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network.

Long emphasized that these two justices’ most important qualities are their demonstrated tendency to judicial restraint.

“They merely apply the rules that we, the people, make. They don't make the rules themselves,” Long continued. “That's a job for Congress and the president, who must respond to the will of the citizens who elected them.

“Judges who practice judicial restraint understand that policy decisions — such as whether to take under God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, whether to allow child pornography, whether to redefine marriage to include groups other than one man and one woman — are not matters for judges to decide, but for elected representatives of the people to decide,” she wrote.

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