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 Home > News & Policies > May 2003

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2003

Who is Priscilla Owen?

Justice Priscilla Owen, nominee to serve on the 5th Circuit, is an accomplished jurist of exceptional integrity, character, and intellect. The superb credentials she has earned through her extensive experience as judge and private practitioner make her an extraordinarily well-qualified nominee. Her nomination has been before the Senate since May 9, 2001. She deserves a hearing from the Judiciary Committee and a prompt confirmation.

  • Justice Owens integrity and accomplishments have earned her the respect of her colleagues and the people of Texas.

    • Justice Owen has served with distinction as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court since first being elected in 1994.
    • Her reelection bid in 2000 marked the first time a candidate has sought election to a full term on the Texas Supreme Court and failed to draw an opponent from either major political party in the primary race or the general election.
    • Every major newspaper in Texas endorsed her reelection bid in November of 2000, and she was reelected by an overwhelming majority.
    • Tom Phillips, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court has characterized Justice Owens work as fair and diligent. V Houston Chronicle, May 10, 2001
    • The American Bar Association has unanimously rated Justice Owen well qualified, its highest possible rating. This ABA rating has been called the Gold Standard by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.

  • Justice Owen has superb professional and academic credentials.

    • Justice Owen practiced commercial litigation in Texas for 17 years before becoming a judge and was a partner at the national law firm of Andrews & Kurth.
    • Justice Owen graduated cum laude from Baylor University and Baylor Law School and was a member of the Law Review at Baylor Law School.
    • Justice Owen earned the highest grade on the Texas Bar Exam.

  • Justice Owen has demonstrated a strong commitment to her community.
    • Justice Owen has served as the Texas Supreme Court Liaison to statewide committees regarding legal services to the poor and pro bono legal services.
    • She was part of a committee that successfully encouraged the Texas Legislature to enact legislation that has resulted in millions of dollars per year in additional funds for providers of legal services to the poor.
    • She was instrumental in organizing a group known as Family Law 2000 that seeks to find ways to educate parents about the effect the dissolution of a marriage can have on their children and to lessen the adversarial nature of legal proceedings when a marriage is dissolved.

  • Justice Owen has the strong support of her home state Senators. Senator Hutchison has written to Senator Leahy that Justice Owens stellar academic achievements and professional experience are remarkable.

  • The people of the 5th circuit in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi need Justice Owen on the bench. Justice Owen has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the Fifth Circuit that has been declared a judicial emergency by the Judicial Conference of the United States, one of 26 such emergencies around the Nation.