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The Nation

January 07, 1988

People for the American Way charged that a University of San Diego law professor nominated to be a federal appeals judge has "bizarre and radical views" on free speech, religion and civil rights. Bernard Siegan, 63, was selected by President Reagan last Feb. 2 to fill a vacancy on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. His nomination has been delayed by Senate Judiciary Committee members who are concerned that his judicial philosophy is too extreme and by efforts to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Justice Department spokesman Terry Eastland disputed the critics, saying Reagan has made it clear he wants federal court nominees who practice "judicial restraint" and Siegan "would be in this general ballpark." People for the American Way, a liberal group, said in a 38-page report that Siegan's published works show he believes presidents have the constitutional right to abridge free speech and states have authority to recognize an official religion and to discriminate against women and minorities.

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