Karl Rove Guided Priscilla Owen's Career
Have you been wondering why the Bush Administration is making such a big deal out of nominee Priscilla Owen? The New York Times has the answer: Her entire judicial career has been orchestrated by Karl Rove. At three critical times, he has intervened to push her to the next level.
Rove got her on the Texas Supreme Court.
Justice Owen was, by all accounts, a respected but little-known lawyer in Houston in 1994 when she was first elected to the State Supreme Court with Mr. Rove's support and tutelage. Her experience up to then largely involved obscure legal cases involving pipelines and federal energy regulations.
....Mr. Rove, who had helped select her as the Republican candidate, helped raise more than $926,000 for her campaign, almost half from lawyers and others who had business before the court, according to Texans for Public Justice, a liberal group in Austin that tracks Texas campaign donations. Mr. Rove's firm was paid some $247,000 in fees.
Then he got Bush to nominate her for the Fifth Circuit.
When Mr. Bush was first elected to the White House, Mr. Rove again chose Ms. Owen, by then a justice on the Texas Supreme Court for nearly a decade, to be among the president's first appeals court candidates, administration and Congressional officials said. In doing so, the officials said, Mr. Rove had to disagree with Alberto R. Gonzales, then the White House counsel and now attorney general. Mr. Gonzales had served on the Texas Supreme Court with Justice Owen and while he liked her greatly, he had preferred another member of the court, Justice Deborah Hankinson, for the federal court seat.
We might have seen the last of her last year except for Rove's third intervention. Texas Governor Rick Perry offered her the Chief Justice slot on the Texas Supreme Court. The Times reports Karl Rove advised she turn it down so she would remain available for the federal seat on the 5th Circuit.
All this says to me is that Priscilla Owens will be confirmed one way or another. I now suspect that the Democrats will agree to an up and down vote on her and justify it on the grounds that it will avoid the nuclear option. I'd rather see the nuclear option unfold. I don't think Bill Frist has the votes.
It's looking more and more like this is all just about politics - not the good of the Senate or the Judiciary - and Karl Rove is the party in power.
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