The Owen confirmation is part of the whole filibuster deal. Too bad, as Owen surely is an extraordinarily wingnutty judge:
Owen has voted against a woman's right to choose in every abortion-related opinion. Owen is often referred to as an Enron or Halliburton appointee who, as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, consistently ruled for business and against consumers and women's rights, and tried to weaken discrimination protections in employment.
"Will saving women's lives, women's rights, and civil rights ever be considered such an extraordinary circumstance [that would allow Democratic filibustering]?," asked Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. "If the record of Priscilla Owen and two other anti-women's rights, anti-civil rights nominees who will not be filibustered under the deal are to be the standard, then these rights are in grave peril."
Owen is going to sit on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which is already a most wingnutty court. So in some ways Owen can't wreak as much havoc as she'd like to. She's simply adding her conservative stamp to many others there.
But she's being placed with a view towards a future Supreme Court nomination, I fear. And so are the two other wingnut judges that are being given an up-and-down vote.
I've been looking very hard for examples of a nominee which would be extraordinary enough to allow filibustering if these three are just garden variety wingnuts. Attila the Hun? Nah.