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This Week: Statue of Justice
This Week
May 20, 2005


This week on NOW:

There's a battle raging in Congress over President Bush's judicial nominees that will have far reaching implications not only for the nation's courts, but also potentially for the way the US Senate conducts business. David Brancaccio gets perspective from Janet LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for America, which describes itself as "the nation's largest public policy women's organization with a rich 25-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy." "The role of government…the role of the Constitution and our laws is to secure the liberties that God has given us," she tells Brancaccio. "And the people who founded this country recognized that importance." LaRue has served as a legal advocate including tenure as senior director of legal studies for the Family Research Council and senior counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families in the California office, focusing entirely on pornography law. She recently co-authored a book, PROTECTING YOUR CHILD IN AN X-RATED WORLD, and her opinion-editorials have appeared in major publications around the country.

Justice Janice Rogers Brown has been nominated by President Bush to the DC Court of Appeals, which is considered the 2nd most powerful court in the America second only to the Supreme Court. But Brown has a history of issuing controversial opinions in legal cases which have troubled her critics. NOW takes a look at Brown and at what her presence on the bench could mean for a court that has been designated to oversee the work of several government agencies that deal with consumer, worker, and environmental protection.

Molly Ivins has compared the Republican maneuvers going on in the US Congress with what has been happening in Texas, where Republicans also control the executive and legislative branches of government. "This peculiar combination of theocracy and plutocracy, which has been governing Texas for some time now, appears to be spreading nationwide," says Ivins. David Brancaccio talks to the Texas native and popular syndicated columnist about what the Texas experience can tell us about the current battle over judicial nominees in Congress, where the Republican leadership is considering altering rules to prevent Democrats from filibustering. "When you jiggle the rules so you can win," says Ivins. "It's going to come back to bite you." Ivins is also known for her essays on National Public Radio as well as six best-selling books, the most recent being, BUSHWHACKED: LIFE IN GEORGE W. BUSH'S AMERICA, in 2003 and WHO LET THE DOGS IN? INCREDIBLE POLITICAL ANIMALS I HAVE KNOWN, in 2004.

In Depth

Supreme Court

The Federal Court System

Nominee Janice Rogers Brown

William Pryor's Record


Megaphone
History of the Filibuster

Justice Priscilla Owen

Separating Church and State


Molly Ivins

Columnist Molly Ivins

Jan LaRue of Concerned Women for America


Discussion



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Resources

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Read the complete transcript.

Streaming Video



[NOTE: RealPlayer is required to view NOW segments.]

Jan LaRue of Concerned Women of America (7:53)

Justice Janice Rogers Brown (6:58)

Syndicated Columnist Molly Ivins (7:38)



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