Friday, March 04, 2005

Reverse Boyle's Nomination

Reverse Boyle's Nomination

President Bush once claimed he would be a "uniter, not a divider." You
wouldn't know it by his judicial nominees. Bush has continued to
re-nominate radical, activist judges who have been strongly opposed
by mainstream America. Case in point: Terrence Boyle, whose nomination
hearings for the Fourth Circuit began yesterday. Boyle has been
vociferously opposed by civil rights groups and disability groups for his
extreme decisions to weaken civil rights and disability rights. Boyle's
high reversal rate even in non-ideological cases is a mark of mediocrity.
None of this has the president particularly concerned; turning a blind
eye to Boyle's record, President Bush
in January said: "[Judge Terrence Boyle is] an exceptional candidate
for the appeals court...He'd make a superb addition to the Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals, and he is vitally needed on that court." The
following shows why he is wrong:

REVERSING BOYLE: Judge Boyle, a former Jesse Helms protégé, has been
trying to win a seat on this court since he was first nominated in 1991.
The problem? He's just not a very good judge. The Fourth Circuit is
considered one of the most conservative circuits in the entire country and
even it has repeatedly found Boyle to be too radical in his judgments.
The Fourth Circuit has had to reverse Boyle's decisions a whopping 150
times for errors in judgment and fundamental legal mistakes
( .

BOYLE AGAINST MINORITIES: Boyle is opposed by a large number of groups
for his dismal civil rights record. For example, during the 1990
redistricting of North Carolina, the state created a congressional district
to reflect the strong African-American population of the area. Boyle
tried to block the district's creation and twice declared it
unconstitutional. His decision was reversed twice by the Supreme Court
( . The first time, writing
for a unanimous court , Justice Clarence Thomas found Boyle's ruling
was "clearly erroneous." The Supreme Court sent the case back to Judge
Boyle and his colleagues. Judge Boyle wrote another opinion reprinting
large swaths of the first one the Supreme Court had rejected. The Supreme
Court rejected Boyle's view again. Boyle also has a record of siding
with employers in cases of workplace discrimination. In Whiting v. Ski's
Auto World, Boyle ruled against an employee who had been passed over
for promotion because of his race; the Fourth Circuit again overturned
his decision. In Godon v. North Carolina Crime Control & Pub. Safety, "a
boot camp counselor claimed that her supervisors violated her First
Amendment rights when they fired her for complaining about the treatment
of black and female cadets." Boyle dismissed the case because he found
the counselor's speech was not protected by the First Amendment, "but
rather merely a personal expression of dissatisfaction
( ."
A unanimous Fourth Circuit reversed him.

BOYLE AGAINST THE DISABLED: Appellate courts have repeatedly criticized
Boyle for his overreaching attacks against the Americans with
Disabilities Act. Boyle has tried to undermine the constitutionality of the ADA.
He has tried to exempt state agencies from following the federal
anti-discrimination laws. In Williams v. Channel Master Satellite Systems,
Inc., for example, Boyle ruled working was "not a major life activity"
which should be protected by the ADA. In reversing his ruling, the Fourth
Circuit said of Boyle's declaration that "while some courts might
entertain claims under the 'major life activity' of 'working,' this Court
does not (

BOYLE AGAINST WOMEN: Boyle has a record of undermining workplace
discrimination laws. In one of the most egregious examples, United States v.
North Carolina, Boyle fought to protect North Carolina's right to
discriminate (
against women in the workplace, claiming the state should be exempt from
federal laws protecting the rights of women because the anti-bias laws
were somehow against the state's "culture." The Fourth Circuit
overturned Boyle's nonsensical decision, stating his ruling "constituted an
abuse of discretion."

GROUPS AGAINST BOYLE: The National Bar Association
( (NBA), a national network of
African-American lawyers working together to protect civil and
political rights, is strongly opposed to Boyle's nomination. In a letter to
Sen. Arlen Specter yesterday, the group said it found Judge Boyle "not
qualified" for appointment, saying, "Judge Boyle has not reigned in his
judicial activism to apply an appropriate judicial balance." North
Carolina cops don't like Boyle. The North Carolina Police Benevolent Society
opposes the nomination over a series of rulings. In both Kirby v.
Elizabeth City and Morrash v. Strobel, Boyle dismissed cases brought by
police officers who were penalized for telling the truth in court, ruling
their testimonies were not protected by the First Amendment. The
National Employment Lawyers Association
"strongly opposes" him for his record against workers' rights.