As Terrence Boyles Nomination To Federal Appeals Court Advances in U.S. Senate, Lambda Legal Raises Alarm Over His Extreme Judicial Views And Hostility to Legal Protection for Disabled People

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June 16, 2005

New York, June 16, 2005) — Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart made the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to send federal trial judge Terrence Boyle’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Senate floor for a vote.


“Terrence Boyle is a three-time loser. Three is how many times the Senate has refused to confirm him as a federal appeals court judge, and with good reason. His extreme judicial views and dismal record should cause him to fail again.


“Judge Boyle has been widely and justifiably criticized for his hostility toward civil rights issues. He has not only demonstrated an unrelenting antipathy to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but he has shown, time and time again, a blatant disregard for the law.


“Terrence Boyle has ignored clearly established legal precedent on the ADA, a federal law that protects disabled people, including those with HIV, from discrimination. In fact, in his 20 years on the bench, Judge Boyle has never ruled in favor of a plaintiff in an ADA case in any of his published opinions. (He has persistently refused to make his unpublished opinions available, despite repeated requests from numerous Senators.)


“Terrence Boyle has a dismal record on issues of critical importance to all who care about civil rights. His decisions have been reversed more often than any other judge nominated to an appeals court by President Bush. It is not the number of reversals alone, but the nature of them that we find so troubling. Judge Boyle has been reversed for “plain error” in applying the law. He has also been admonished for ignoring clear legal precedent and treating people unfairly. Judge Boyle has repeatedly dismissed individuals’ lawsuits using unfair procedures that the appeals court had already cited in reversing his earlier rulings.


“The Senate has assessed Terrence Boyle’s qualifications for the appeals court three times and each time found him wanting. Nominated the first time by President George H.W Bush, and twice by President George W. Bush, Boyle has, each time, failed to win confirmation, largely due to his extreme judicial views. Judge Boyle’s views have not changed nor should the Senate’s opinion of his qualifications. Senators should, once again, refuse to confirm Terrence Boyle.”


In opposing Boyle’s nomination, Lambda Legal will mobilize its 25,000-plus members to voice their concerns to members of the U.S. Senate. Lambda Legal is already advertising on numerous commercial websites to increase awareness of Boyle’s record.


The effort to defeat Boyle’s nomination is part of Lambda Legal’s wide-ranging national campaign, “Courting Justice: Stand Up for Fair Courts – Protect Our Rights.” The campaign is mobilizing LGBT people, those with HIV and allies to advocate for unbiased judicial nominees, defend fair-minded judges from political attacks and support the legitimate role of courts in addressing civil rights claims. As part of the campaign, Lambda Legal is releasing substantive material on a number of issues and nominees, giving the organization’s members and the general public avenues to get involved in fighting for fair courts, reaching out to activate constituencies through advertising and other vehicles and working closely with other leading civil rights and judicial organizations. More information on “Courting Justice” can be found at www.lambdalegal.org/courtingjustice.


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Contact Mona Finston at 212-809-8585 x267.

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