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Accountability

Inside the Newsroom

Senator Dole battles Salon.com over Boyle

The Raleigh News & Observer reports: “The battle continues between U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole and Salon.com.” The paper also notes that “Dole, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and others have been pushing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to schedule a floor vote on Boyle, with conservatives hoping Democrats’ opposition will galvanize Republicans months before midterm elections.”

Inside the Newsroom

Frist and Specter send letter supporting Boyle to other senators

In a “Dear Colleague” letter, Majority Leader Frist and Judiciary Committee Chairman Specter send Boyle’s explanation of his conflicts of interest to fellow senators. In the letter, Frist and Specter write, “If questions are raised about a nominee, the nominee deserves an opportunity to respond. Speculation and conjecture should not unduly influence the perception of a nominee or the confirmation process. For this reason, we sent Judge Boyle a letter inviting him to address conflict of interest allegations and any other matter that merited further explanation or clarification. In his response, Judge Boyle explains and refutes these allegations and puts them into context. We hope this information is helpful as you further consider his nomination. We look forward to working with you to confirm more qualified judicial nominees to the federal bench during this Congress.”

Inside the Newsroom

Salon responds to Dole

Joan Walsh, editor in chief of Salon.com, responds to Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s op-ed in the Washington Times: “Salon takes accuracy very seriously, and the record shows that Mrs. Dole’s charges are false…It is up to the Senate to determine whether Judge Boyle’s conflicts of interest disqualify him from a seat on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But Mrs. Dole’s political agenda shouldn’t obscure the fact that Salon reported on Judge Boyle’s record, and the law, accurately.”

Inside the Newsroom

Senator Dole slaps Salon

Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) writes an op-ed in the Washington Times: “The smear campaign began in earnest last month when the liberalInternetmagazine Salon.com published two articles accusing Judge Boyle of engaging in unethical behavior by participating in cases where he had a supposed financial interest. An examination of these cases, however, shows that any alleged breach by Judge Boyle was inadvertent, minor, and, in a number of instances, totally non-existent.”

Jun 29, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

Leahy requests hearing on Boyle conflicts

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee puts this statement in the record: “Publicly available documents, including court docket sheets and Judge Boyle’s financial disclosure forms, appear to support the public reports that Judge Boyle ruled in multiple cases in which he held stock in one party…These matters used to be investigated in a bipartisan way. In fact, after these developments were reported in the media, the seven Democratic members in the group that helped avert the Republican “nuclear option” wrote a letter asking for a new hearing to look into the conflict of interest allegations. I regret that the Republican leadership is apparently determined not to allow a bipartisan investigation to be completed and determined not to hold the follow-up hearing.….If this nomination is not withdrawn, and the Republican leadership is determined to move forward with this nomination in response to right-wing pressure groups, issues arising from Judge Boyle’s many alleged conflicts of interest can be best addressed in a hearing, where Senators can ask questions of the nominee, listen to his answers, and assess the credibility of his explanations regarding the conflicts. That is our process. There is no reason to depart from it now.”

Jun 28, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

Frist and Specter ask Boyle for explanation

Majority Leader Bill Frist and Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter write to Judge Boyle, offering him the “opportunity to respond in writing.” They write, “As you know, questions recently surfaced about your participation in cases in which you may have had a financial interest. We believe you deserve the opportunity to address these issues directly, as well as any other matter that you believe merits further explanation or clarification.”

Also, North Carolina Republican Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr write a “Dear Colleague” letter saying that an examination of the conflicts documented by CIR “shows that any alleged breach by Judge Boyle was inadvertent, minor, and, in a number of instances, totally non-existent. Moreover, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Judge Boyle knowingly heard a case in which he had a conflict of interest, used his office for personal gain, or abused the trust of the people he was appointed to serve.”

Jun 23, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

Conservatives “push hard” for Boyle

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports that “despite a likely fatal lack of support among the Republicans in the Gang of 14, conservative activists this week pushed hard to move the forlorn nomination of Judge Terrence Boyle.” Some Republicans in the Gang were ready to sign the letter asking for another hearing for Boyle, but were pressured to keep quiet by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH), who faces a tough fight for reelection, the Hill reports. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he would also support a second hearing for Boyle to address the conflicts of interest. According to the story, “A senior GOP aide said the Senate could vote on Boyle during July or after the August recess. The Senate Republican leadership is testing Boyle’s support but does not want a floor vote it cannot win, the aide said.” Meanwhile, the White House doesn’t appear to be fully committed to Boyle, the Hill explains: “The White House also has not responded to requests for information on Boyle’s financial interests from conservative groups seeking to defend the nominee.”

Jun 22, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

Boyle law clerks urge a vote on Boyle in WSJ

Five of Boyle’s former law clerks write a letter to the Wall Street Journal: “Sen. Bill Frist should proceed promptly with a vote as previously promised, taking the fight to the floor if necessary to rebut the erroneous claims. Otherwise, the appellate confirmation process will spiral downward into the realm of cheap politics and personal attacks.”

Jun 20, 2006
Money and Politics

Conflicts on the Bench

In this series of reports, Will Evans of the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) found that two federal judges – who had been nominated by President Bush to some of the highest courts in the nation – were repeatedly violating the law on judicial conflicts of interest. As a result of the stories, published first

Jun 15, 2006
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