.- On a 56-43 vote, the Senate has confirmed Pricilla Owens, a Texas Sunday school teacher, to a spot on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Owens, who has been widely backed by pro-life groups, is the first of President Bush’s pro-life judicial picks to be confirmed.
On Monday, the Senate narrowly avoided a threat of Democrat filibustering of all of Bush’s judicial nominees, barring them from receiving an up or down vote. A deal however, was reached, which allowed three of the five nominees to receive a vote.
The Senate now looks to vote on William Pryor for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and Janice Rogers Brown for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Both, like Owens, are seen as strong pro-life advocates.
In addition, they will vote on the nominations of three Michigan judges.
While many pro-choice advocates, as well as the abortion industry, are upset by Owen’s confirmation, others are elated.
Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader praised the vote saying Owen "withstood an orchestrated partisan attack on her record."
Others, including Texas Senator John Cornyn, called her a “supremely qualified nominee [who] received the up-or-down vote she deserved."
Planned Parenthood however, the nation’s largest abortion provider, told supporters in a last minute alert that they “strongly oppose” the nomination.
Had Monday’s filibuster deal not taken place, Owen’s 56-43 vote win may have fallen short of the 60 votes Republicans would have needed to stop the Democrat filibuster of the nominees.