- The Washington Times - Friday, August 1, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday said Supreme Court victories this year for homosexual couples, minorities and women do not erase the distrust created by other “legally dubious” rulings, including the Bush v. Gore presidential election case.

“These favorable decisions in recent months should not obscure the torrent of aggressively activist and legally dubious decisions of times past,” Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat, told the American Constitution Society.

She said this is “the same court that gave us Bush v. Gore, which made a mockery of one of our most cherished constitutional rights, the right to vote,” a reference to the 2000 ruling that ended Democrat Al Gore’s chances of winning the White House.

Mrs. Clinton also mentioned past court rulings on guns, worker rights and age discrimination.

This summer, the court ruled that colleges may continue to use race as a factor in picking students, that homosexual men and women cannot be prosecuted for having sex and that state government workers are protected under a federal law intended to ease work and family conflicts.

The rulings angered conservatives and were opposed by some of the court’s most conservative members.

Mrs. Clinton made the comments at the first convention of the American Constitution Society, a liberal lawyers’ group that intends to challenge the older and more influential Federalist Society, a conservative law association. Mrs. Clinton had also complained about the Supreme Court in a speech last year to society members.

“In addition to installing an American president, the current Supreme Court has invalidated federal laws at the most astounding rate in our nation’s history,” she said then.

Yesterday, Mrs. Clinton defended Senate Democrats’ filibuster of three of President Bush’s federal appeals court nominees they consider too conservative: Texas Judge Priscilla Owen, District of Columbia lawyer Miguel Estrada and Alabama Attorney General William Pryor.

Mrs. Clinton said the White House was playing politics with the choices.

President Bush yesterday denounced the Democratic filibusters. “These obstructionist tactics are unprecedented, unfair and unfaithful to the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to vote on judicial nominees,” Mr. Bush said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican, said Republicans would keep fighting for Mr. Bush’s blocked nominees when the Senate returns from its break in September.

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