Less than two months after re-nominating four controversial Court of Appeals nominees during the lame duck session, President Bush did not include these men in his first list of judicial nominees to the new Congress. The four nominees, William J. Haynes II, Terrence W. Boyle, William G. Myers III, and Michael B. Wallace, had all asked the President to withdraw their nominations.
"President Bush has made the right decision in not resubmitting these controversial and problematic nominees who failed to win confirmation from a Republican-controlled Senate," said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats had vowed to block these far-right nominees.
District Court Judge Boyle, a former aide to Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), was blocked by Democrats when he was first nominated to serve on the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. Boyle, one of President Bush's most controversial nominees, has issued numerous opinions hostile to affirmative action, women's rights, fair employment, and voting rights. Wallace, who was nominated to the 5th Circuit, is a former aide to Senator Trent Lott (D-MS). Wallace has the distinction of being the first appellate court nominee in 25 years to be given a rating of "unqualified" to sit on the federal bench by the American Bar Association.
Leahy has said that Myers was blocked for being "the most anti-environmental nominee sent to the Senate." Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) wrote about Haynes in an opinion piece in the Washington Post, "Nominations do not get much worse than this�Haynes does not come anywhere close to the commitment to fundamental rights and the principle of separation of powers that we all expect from the federal courts. He would be a poster boy on the 4th Circuit for denying the rule of law."
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .