Showdown Expected Over Judge Boyle Nomination As Ethics Questions
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 9, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC--Americans could be looking at a showdown in the U.S. Senate this week as lawmakers are expected to vote on whether to confirm controversial federal district Judge Terrence Boyle to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Civil rights groups, along with disability rights groups -- such as the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Council on Independent Living, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, National Association of the Deaf, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, United Spinal Association and ADA Watch/National Coalition for Disability Rights -- have opposed Boyle's confirmation since President Bush nominated him to the appeals court because of his past record on disability issues.
One example is Boyle's ruling in the case of Tennessee v. George Lane, in which he said that Congress overstepped its legal authority when it had certain provisions of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act apply to states. Boyle's decision was later overturned by the same appeals court for which he is being nominated. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2004 agreed with that appeals court.
Senate Republican leaders plan on forcing a vote on Boyle's confirmation this week. But several Democrats have threatened to block the vote with a filibuster, an unending debate.
The conflict might be resolved by the "Gang of 14", a group with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats who last year worked out a deal to avoid a Democratic filibuster and the "nuclear option", which is a majority vote that Republicans threatened to use to break any filibuster.
The showdown over Boyle's confirmation vote comes just a few days after new allegations surfaced that the judge has ruled on at least nine cases involving corporations in which he holds stock. Judges are required under ethics rules to withdraw from cases in which they might have a financial interest in the outcome.
"Boyle Nomination Before Senate Again; Ask Key Senators to Block It" (Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law)
"A Very Questionable Judicial Nomination" (OpEdNews)