Monday, October 27, 2003

NAACP opposes nomination of Claude Allen to Fourth Circuit

According to this story in the Richmond paper, the NAACP has strongly denounced the nomination of Claude Allen to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, citing among other things his ties to former U.S Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina.

The article also notes:

"Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrats, plan to testify Tuesday in opposition to the Virginian's nomination for a seat formerly held by a Maryland judge.

Their testifying will be unusual but not unprecedented for such a hearing, a congressional source said.

Sen. George Allen, R-Va., plans to testify in support of the nominee, who is not related to the senator. Virginia's senior senator, Republican John W. Warner, who also supports Claude Allen, will testify if his schedule permits, according to an aide.

Claude Allen is a former Virginia Cabinet secretary under then-Gov. Jim Gilmore, a Republican. White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales has praised Allen as a "well-qualified and well-respected lawyer and public servant who will be an excellent judge."

But in a season of partisan rancor in the Senate over Bush's judge picks, leading Democratic senators may disagree sharply with Gonzales' remark.

A report yesterday by NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion-rights group, not only blasted Allen's stands but contended that with only about eight years of experience as a practicing attorney, he has 'perhaps the thinnest legal background of any appeals court nominee from this White House.'"

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