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Houston Lawyers Rate Owen the Worst

Members of the Houston Bar Association who have practiced before Priscilla Owen have rated her the worst justice of the six justices rated. Here are the rankings:

Judge (Respondents) Outstanding Acceptable Poor

Scott A. Brister (422) 36.9 20.7 42.4
Nathan L. Hecht (327) 40.3 17.4 42.3
Wallace B. Jefferson (270) 53.4 29.7 16.9
Harriet O'Neill (334) 55 30.5 14.5
Priscilla R. Owen (350) 39.5 15.2 45.3
Dale Wainwright (316) 48.7 25.7 25.7

Using "Outstanding" percentage minus "Poor" percentage, Owen is at minus 5.8%, i.e. 5.8% more rated her performance "Poor" than rated her "Outstanding." Owen's rating is a hair worse than Brister (-.5%); a little worse than Hecht (-2%); and much worse than O'Neill (+40.5%), Jefferson (+36.5%), and Wainwright (+23%).

Alternatively, if you assign 2 points for an "Outstanding" rating, 1 point for an "Acceptable" rating, and 0 points for a "Poor" rating, the average scores of each justice are: O'Neill 1.405, Jefferson .365, Wainwright 1.231, Hecht .980, Brister .945, Owen .942.

Owen does particularly badly on the criterion "Is impartial and open-minded with respect to determining the legal issues." There her ratings are:

Outstanding 34.6%
Acceptable 16.6%
Poor 48.8%

Just under half of the respondents rate Owen's impartiality and open-mindedness as "poor." One can certainly see why Bush has renominated this previously rejected candidate, and why Frist is willing to detonate the nuclear option to put her on the federal bench. [hat tip to Fred]

Update: Ted Barlow writes, "In her defense, the poll apparently asked nothing about Sunday School teaching." From Byron at Burnt Orange Report asks, "Are these ratings from a non-partisan organization of lawyers who have worked directly with Justice Owen reflective of someone who deserves a promotion? I don't think so..."

Memeorandum is tracking blog coverage of the survey.

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  • Re: Houston Lawyers Rate Owen the Worst (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    There seems to be little interest in getting the best and the brightest. After all, that would pretty much scuttle Dubya by any account - academic or business record. And as for his life of faith? Well that is beyond question, isn't it? Time to stand up to the American mullahs. Please, no compromise on these terrible appointments.

    Re: Houston Lawyers Rate Owen the Worst (none / 0) (#2)
    by Aaron on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    Priscilla R. Owens epitomizes the phrase activist judge, a rhetorical term with no real tangible meaning as it pertains to current sitting judges. Ironically Owens will undoubtedly continue her biased renderings if confirmed. Sadly she highlights the best of these renomination's that Bush has put forward. There are lots of complaints about the Ninth Circuit from the right-wingers, but there's no case that they can point to as an example of such activism. The judges on that court have been upholding the law. If William G. Myers III makes it onto the Ninth Circuit, will have a former lobbyist for mining and ranching concerns, with absolutely zero experience as a judge and very little as a lawyer, deciding environmental issues. The Bush administration chose such a person because they know that no real judge will be willing to subvert current environmental laws the way the administration would like. These nominations are a real travesty and will be a tragedy for this country if they get confirmed. Check my blog for a commentary on Myers.

    Re: Houston Lawyers Rate Owen the Worst (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    Get used to her! I have NO doubt she and Rogers Brown will be confimed, even if it takes the nuclear option to do it! For everone that doesn't like her, there's someone who does. Let's face it, the world will change very little when these women are confirmed.