Judiciary

Who Is Priscilla R. Owen?

Speculation in Washington is that Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen may be the first Bush appellate-court nomination brought to the floor in this Senate.

Born: Oct. 4, 1954, Palacios, Tex.

Education: University of Texas, 1972-73; Baylor University, 1973-75; Baylor University School of Law, 1975-77.

Experience: Law clerk at Sheehy, Lovelace & Mayfield, 1976-77; associate and partner at Andrews, Kurth, Campbell & Jones, 1978-94; elected justice on Texas Supreme Court, 1995-current.

Qualifications: Received a unanimous “well-qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. Graduated at the top of her class in law school and had the No. 1 grade on the Texas Bar Exam.

Status: Nominated May 9, 2001, for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, but defeated by committee. Renominated Jan. 7, 2003, but Democrats filibustered and cloture votes failed four times—May 1, 2003, May 8, 2003, July 28, 2003, and Nov. 14, 2003. Renominated Feb. 14, 2005, and voted out of committee April 21, 2005.  Currently awaiting floor vote.

Notable: Re-elected with the 84% of the vote in 2000—the highest percentage of any of her colleagues on the Texas Supreme Court—after winning endorsements from all major Texas newspapers.


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