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EDITH BROWN CLEMENT 5TH CIRCUIT If confirmed by the Senate, U.S. District Judge Edith Brown Clement should make a smooth transition to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Harvey Koch, a partner in Koch & Rouse in New Orleans, says Clement’s style and approach are close to that of 5th Circuit Judges Edith Jones and Jerry Smith — two of the most conservative members of the court. “She is very deliberate, and she weighs all of the issues,” Koch says. Clement, a 53-year-old Federalist Society member, got her J.D. from Tulane Law School in 1972. Former President George Bush appointed her to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. She has served since December 1991. Clement has handled a number of headline-grabbing cases during her tenure on the federal bench — including last year’s trials of former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards and Jim Brown, the state’s former insurance commissioner, on fraud charges. Brown was convicted of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but Edwards was acquitted on related charges in a separate trial. In another case, Clement held in 1997 that time-share condominiums are covered under the Fair Housing Act. Louisiana ACORN Fair Housing had claimed that employees and managers of Quarter House — a resort complex in New Orleans’ French Quarter — violated the Fair Housing Act and other civil rights statutes by refusing to show units, give tours, or arrange sales to certain prospective buyers based on their race, religion, national origin, or family status. Quarter House sought a dismissal of the suit on the grounds that ACORN did not have a valid claim under the Fair Housing Act because time-share condos were not “dwellings” as defined by the law. But Clement ruled that time-share units fall within the purview of the act because the owners had certain property rights in their condos. “You leave her courtroom feeling like you were treated fairly,” says Jim Wright, a partner in Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre in New Orleans. Wright says he worked with Clement in the maritime section at Jones Walker, which Clement joined in 1975. She worked as a maritime practitioner at the firm until her first judicial appointment in 1991. “She has the highest integrity,” Wright says. “This is the kind of people we need on the court.” – Mary Alice Robbins, Texas Lawyer PRISCILLA OWEN 5TH CIRCUIT Priscilla Owen may never have to run for public office again. In 1994, Owen, a Republican, ran a successful state campaign for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court. Last year, she ran for re-election, and won again. If confirmed by the Senate as one of President George W. Bush’s picks for the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, she’ll enjoy the life tenure of a federal judge. Before joining the Texas high court, Owen was a partner at Houston’s Andrews & Kurth, where she practiced for 17 years. She got her J.D. from Baylor University School of Law in 1977, graduating first in her class. “Her pedigree in terms of intellectual ability is excellent,” says Doug Alexander, a partner at Austin’s Scott, Douglass & McConnico. Appellate specialist Don Hunt, with Mullin Hoard Brown Langston Hunt & Joy in Lubbock, Texas, says Owen comes to oral arguments well-prepared. “She’s a precise questioner,” he says. “She couldn’t be that way unless she had done her homework and studied.” At the same time, the nomination of the 46-year-old former commercial litigator concerns some plaintiffs’ lawyers, who perceive her as too business-oriented. “I believe she’s a legal activist who struggles with her pro-business-oriented background,” says Robert Hilliard, an owner of Hilliard & Munoz in Corpus Christi, Texas. In high-profile litigation, Owen has favored strict enforcement of a Texas abortion notification law, signed by then-Gov. Bush in 1999. The law requires parents to be notified before a minor can have an abortion — unless a judge finds that notification is not in the minor’s best interests. Owen repeatedly joined the dissents in the notification cases, wanting to make it more difficult for an underage girl to get a judicial bypass. The majority decided in one case in favor of a 17-year-old high school senior who requested an abortion without notifying her parents. In her dissent, Owen said the majority “acted irresponsibly” by approving a judicial bypass based on the girl’s claim that her parents would disapprove of her if they learned she was pregnant and probably would stop supporting her financially. “In other words, ignorance is bliss, or at least parental ignorance is filial bliss; what the folks don’t know won’t hurt them — and more importantly won’t hurt their kids. This is a tragically distorted view of parental authority, individual responsibility and family relationships,” Owen wrote. White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, who is leading Bush’s search for judicial nominees, sided with the majority in supporting the more lenient standard for judicial bypasses when he was a justice on the Texas Supreme Court. – Mary Alice Robbins, Texas Lawyer DEBORAH COOK 6TH CIRCUIT Ohio Supreme Court Justice Deborah Cook — one of two nominees to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made by President George W. Bush — jokes about her tendency to disagree with the court’s liberal majority. “There are three women on the supreme court, and the odd thing is we all have double last names,” Cook quipped at a reception during the Republican National Convention in August 2000. “We have Alice Robie Resnick, Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, and Deborah Cook, dissenting.” Cook, 49, was first elected to the state supreme court in 1994 after three years as a state appellate judge. She was re-elected for a second six-year term in 2000. Cook has been a reliable ally to business interests, often as part of a three-member minority. Cook’s heated 2000 re-election campaign against Ohio Municipal Judge Timothy Black was endorsed by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Cleveland Bar Association, and major Ohio newspapers including The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, The Columbus Dispatch, and The Cincinnati Enquirer. Her re-election bid was opposed by Cleveland’s major African-American bar association, the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the Ohio Education Association. Nearly 30 percent of Cook’s campaign contributions came from the financial, real estate, and insurance sectors. According to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Cook voted with business interests in 59 percent of the cases affecting the business community. “Deb Cook has generally done a pretty balanced job in terms of dealing with issues that are important to the Chamber. She has taken a very strict constructionist approach to the law and tends to show deference to the legislature,” says Charles McConville, director of political and candidate education at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. In a recent high-stakes case over state education funding, Cook wrote a dissent taking the majority to task for what she deemed judicial activism. “I view this court’s ill-conceived foray outside its legitimate role to be a most serious affront to individual freedom and democratic ideals,” she wrote. Cook’s nomination to the 6th Circuit was backed by prominent Ohio Republicans, including Gov. Bob Taft and state GOP Chairman Robert Bennett. Cook received her law degree from the University of Akron in 1978 and worked at the Akron law firm of Roderick Linton until 1991. She became the firm’s first female partner in 1982. Cook is married to Robert Linton, a name partner at Roderick Linton. – Vanessa Blum JEFFREY SUTTON 6TH CIRCUIT Jeffrey Sutton is among the most conservative picks of President George W. Bush’s first draft of judicial nominees. An experienced Supreme Court litigator who has argued successfully against congressional intrusion into state sovereignty, the 40-year-old Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue partner has risen quickly through the appellate ranks. But the law was Sutton’s third career choice. The son of an oil executive, Sutton was born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and raised in Ohio. He aimed for a career in the Foreign Service and, while waiting to be offered an assignment, taught history at Columbus Academy and coached baseball and soccer. After several years of teaching, Sutton enrolled in Ohio State University College of Law. During his first year, the Foreign Service finally offered him a post, but too late, it seems. By then Sutton was already sold on the law. After graduation, he clerked for several judges, starting with Judge Thomas Meskill of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a former U.S. representative from Connecticut, and then-retired Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell Jr., and Justice Antonin Scalia. He next joined the Columbus, Ohio, office of Cleveland-based Jones Day. As a young associate, he found himself fighting states on behalf of corporate clients. Today, however, he is known as one of the nation’s pre-eminent appellate litigators for federalist issues. He has written amicus briefs for all 50 states and is known for his staunch belief in states’ rights. In 1995, Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery tapped Sutton to be the state’s solicitor general, giving him his first opportunity to argue at the Supreme Court. Sutton argued as an amicus in City of Boerne v. Flores, where the Court struck down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law designed to bar governments from enacting policies that burden the exercise of religion. Back at Jones Day, where he heads the Columbus office’s appellate practice, he has contributed to the dismantling of other congressional initiatives. Last term, he successfully argued against a part of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act in United States v. Morrison. This term he earned another states’ rights victory in Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama v. Garrett, where the Court held that states have 11th Amendment immunity to suits brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act. More recently, he contacted Ohio inmate Dale Becker and asked to represent him before the Supreme Court. Becker had failed to sign a notice of appeal, typing his name instead, and had seen his pro se case dismissed by a lower court. Sutton argued the case in April, one of four he has handled this term. Roy Englert Jr., a former Jones Day partner who recently opened D.C.’s Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck & Untereiner, says Sutton has carved a unique appellate practice over the years. “He was doing in government what you would associate with a private practice, and he’s been doing in private practice what you would expect from a government lawyer — representing states.” One former opponent thinks Sutton would have a strong conservative influence as a jurist. “He has an 18th century view of the relationship between the states and the federal government,” says H. Douglas Laycock, a University of Texas Law School professor who was Sutton’s opposing counsel in City of Boerne. “As best I can tell, he thinks the Civil War was of no political significance. He’d like to restore the Jeffersonian vision.” Yet Clint Bolick, litigation director at the Institute for Justice, says Sutton “has the kind of temperament I think would be ideal in a judge. … He was one of the first people I thought of for the 6th Circuit when Bush was elected.” – Siobhan Roth MICHAEL MCCONNELL 10TH CIRCUIT In his own way, Michael McConnell has strengthened the position of religion in American society. A brilliant constitutional scholar who has written on a variety of topics, McConnell is perhaps best known for his views on religious issues, arguing forcefully and often successfully that the First Amendment establishment clause leaves plenty of room for religious activity. “For a long period of time, the interpretation was that the First Amendment mandates a wall between church and state,” says Douglas Baird, former dean of the University of Chicago Law School, from which McConnell graduated and where he taught. “His idea is that it’s a little more complicated than that. He was able to force people to think about the First Amendment religious question. They don’t talk about it in the same way anymore.” Two of his recent Supreme Court successes came in Rosenberger v. University of Virginiaand Mitchell v. Helms. In Rosenberger, McConnell defended a student’s right to use school funding for a religious publication. In Mitchell, he argued that a federal program allowing public schools to loan equipment to parochial schools was constitutional. “It’s something of a natural fit for someone who does consider their faith an important part of their life,” says McConnell, 45. “And it’s an area where constitutional law has been particularly confused and in need of reshaping.” But McConnell’s views have also made him one of the first appointees to draw opposition. Soon after he was nominated by President George W. Bush to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Americans United for Separation of Church and State came out in full-fire mode against him. “I think he is absolutely, relentlessly hostile toward church-state separation,” says Barry Lynn, executive director of the group. “He is the dream nominee of the religious right.” Americans United is using McConnell’s own words against him, quoting law review articles in which he argued that government money could be used to fund certain endeavors — such as medical care — taken on by religious institutions. But an all-out liberal battle against McConnell is far from guaranteed. Other lawyers and scholars disagree with some of his positions, but are not yet attacking. “Michael sent his kids to a Jewish community center when he was in Chicago,” says Mark Stern, a lawyer for the American Jewish Congress, which has sometimes battled McConnell. “He just doesn’t fit the stereotype that Mr. Lynn is depicting.” In fact, McConnell began his law career after graduating from Chicago in 1979 by clerking for Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright of the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court Justice William Brennan — two bastions of liberalism. He later worked as assistant general counsel for the Office of Management and Budget, then served as an assistant solicitor general under Rex Lee. McConnell returned to Chicago in 1985 to teach for 12 years, building a substantial and respected national reputation. In 1997, he moved to the University of Utah Law School so he could have more time for his wife and three children, who have been home-schooled by their mother. He is an avid skier, hiker, camper, and traveler, and friends get an update on the family with an annual Christmas letter. For many who have worked with him, McConnell seems the perfect pick for a judge — a measured and modest lawyer who is often fair-minded to a fault. “He is very careful about not signing anything he doesn’t agree with every sentence of,” says Doug Laycock, a University of Texas professor who taught a young McConnell at the University of Chicago. “His clerks are not going to be writing his opinions.” – Deirdre Davidson Back t Who’s Who Among the Bush Judicial Nominees

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