Press

Task Force Calls Today’s Judiciary Committee Vote

Date: 
September 22, 2005

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

Statement by Eleanor D. Acheson, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs

"Earlier this week we were gratified by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's principled stand against the confirmation of Judge John Roberts as chief justice of the United States. We had hoped that Senator Reid's example would be followed by all Democrats on the Judiciary Committee -- and other Senators who care about civil rights and equal justice under the Constitution. Regrettably, only Senators Biden, Durbin, Feinstein, Kennedy, and Schumer followed Senator Reid's lead and voted to uphold the integrity of the Senate's constitutional advise and consent role.

Today's Judiciary Committee vote is beyond disappointing - it is astounding. The Bush administration refused to release key documents related to Judge Roberts' most important years of government service. Judge Roberts ducked, dodged and refused to answer dozens upon dozens of legitimate questions posed by committee members. Nonetheless, all Republicans and Ranking Minority Member Leahy and Democratic Senators Kohl and Feingold voted to support his confirmation.

The Senators voting for Judge Roberts were, at best, in Senator Biden's words, 'rolling the dice.' The critical issues at stake - civil rights, individual rights, the authority of Congress, and so many others - deserve far better than that.

We urge those Senators not yet committed on Judge Roberts appointment to consider anew and fully the rights of Americans at stake and the institutional implications for the Senate in this vote and to vote 'no' on this nomination."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.