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Edith Hollan Jones, Supreme Court possible nominee

Edith Hollan Jones

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After the Harriet Miers fiasco, conservatives will be clamoring for someone like Edith Hollan Jones. Liberals, on the other hand, will be ready for a fight if Jones is nominated.

Edith Hollan Jones, 56, has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans since 1985, having been nominated by President Ronald Reagan. Jones was born in Philadelphia. She graduated from Cornell University in 1971 and from the University of Texas Law School in 1974. She was in private practice in Houston for 11 years and specialized in bankruptcy law.

Jones is very conservative, and a review of some of her decisions and quotes indicate that her nomination would spark a war in the Senate. It looks like she relishes a good fight, so this would be great political theater, but probably not great for the country. Liberals and moderates would probably be justified in trying to block her nomination, though it's anyone's guess as to whether they would prevail.

Key Decisions and Writings:

Jones is recognized as a strong and outspoken conservative. She has written opinions that called into question the reasoning behind the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling, has been an advocate for speeding up death penalty executions, and is a vocal proponent of "moral values." She also wrote a 1997 opinion throwing out a federal ban on the possession of machine guns and has been an advocate for toughening bankruptcy laws.

Abortion - When the 5th Circuit denied a request by Norma McCorvey to approve her motion to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling, Judge Jones issued an opinion blasting the Supreme Court's opinion in Roe and saying it needs to be re-examined. She called Roe an "exercise of raw judicial power," and cited evidence McCorvey presented showing abortions hurt women. Jones wrote that the Court's rulings "have rendered basic abortion policy beyond the power of our legislative bodies."


"Nominees are accused very unfairly of things that they didn't do. For someone like Judge [Charles W.] Pickering to be called a racist is a vile lie. For someone like Judge [William] Pryor to be attacked on the basis that he is a Catholic and therefore cannot judge cases fairly strikes at the heart of the notion of religious tolerance in our society. And the character assassination of Priscilla Owen reached unconscionable bounds." - interview with the American Enterprise Institute


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