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Classical Where Classical Music Goes to Party Join Golden Arm Trio’s Graham Reynolds and Brown Whornet’s Peter Stopschinksi, hosts of KMFA’s Classical Crossover, as they explore underground classical music, past and present, from Austin and around the country. Classical Crossover 11:05pm Thursdays and 2am Saturdays, The Voice of the Arts for Central Texas. PAC and executivesincluding $1,000 from Ken Layand then NOT recuse herself from a $224,989 ruling in Enron ‘s favor?” While all nine Texas Supreme Court justices remain pro-business conservatives, Justices Owen and Hecht \(who inspired the opposition PAC “Hecht of extremist dissent in 1998, following the appointment of several relatively moderate justices by none other than then-Governor George W. Bush. Bush’s appointmentscombined with a “60 Minutes” expose of the court’s campaign finance conflictsbrought a noticeable dose of restraint to the rest of the court. But Justices Owen and Hecht continued to masquerade as “strict constructionists” \(judges who narrowly interpret laws rather than zealously promoted the interests of big business and the New Right with much less restraint than their colleagues. The family of anti-abortion activist and right-wing mogul James Leininger has given $12,350 to Owen’s two Supreme Court campaigns. In 2000, the Court considered a state law that mandates parental notification before minors receive abortions. The Legislature allowed an exception to this parental notification law if a judge determines that this notification is not in a minor’s best interest. Justice Owen wrote a concurring opinion in the case, which would have required judges to determine that both the parental notification and the abortion itself were in a minor’s best interest. Such opinions are hardly “strict constructions” by any standard. Since joining the high court in 1995, Owen has written and joined a slew of activist opinions that favor businesses over consumers, defendants over plaintiffs, and judges over lawmakers and juries. A 1999 study by Austin-based Court Watch found that, during Justice Owen’s tenure, individuals won just 36 percent of their cases, compared to a winning percentage of 66 percent for businesses, 70 percent for insurers, and 86 percent for medical interests. Having taken more than $500,000 in campaign contributions from interests with cases in her court, Justice Owen has produced a body of activist opinions that are extremisteven by Texas standards. 0 n the day of Judge Pickering’s rejection, President Bush’s top political advisor, Karl Rove \(who ran Owen’s first Supreme Court Christian Right’s Family Research Council. In a recording of the address obtained by the Washington Post, Rove said that Judiciary Committee Democrats used Pickering to send Bush a message about the “judicial lynching” that awaits “strong conservative” nominees. “Guess what?” asked Rove. “They sent the wrong message to the wrong guy.” In fact, the committee must keep sending the message until it is heard. Rejecting Pickerings and Owens is the only possible path to nominees who are better qualified and more deserving of so much government power. President Bush clearly knows better-qualified, moderate conservatives, having appointed some of them to the Texas Supreme Court. Owen’s nomination is a sop to the Far Right. The Judiciary Committee should treat it as such. 4/12102 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13