Republicans Block Women and Minority Candidates from Federal Bench
President Clinton kept his promise when he vowed to put more women and minorities on the Federal bench-48 percent of Clinton's federal judge picks have been women or minorities (compared to 28 percent by George Bush and 14% by Ronald Reagan). Currently, 15 percent of judges are minorities and 20 percent are women. GOP politics in the Senate are to blame for the roadblocks Clinton and his federal judge picks have encountered. Thirty-five percent of those picked by Clinton have been blocked by the Republican Controlled Senate. Women and minority candidates also experience longer confirmation processes than do white male candidates-8 months compared to 5 months. And minorities have been rejected by Republicans twice as much as white candidates.
Republican Senators are determined to make the federal bench more conservative, going so far as to deem one federal judge nominee, Enrique Moreno, unfit for the bench after questioning him about his support for Affirmative Action-a program many Republicans oppose. Federal judges are appointed for life and have a dramatic effect on society long after a president has left the office. The GOP's continual blockage of women and minority candidates who do not support their conservative ideals will impact the federal court's perspective and handling of civil rights for years to come.
For more information about the Federal Court Bench, please visit Alliance for Justice. Since 1985, the Alliance has been extensively involved in the appointment process for federal judges. Through the Judicial Selection Project, the Alliance monitors and investigates judicial nominations at all levels of the federal branch, and encourages public participation in the confirmation process.
Media Resources: Alliance for Justice, USA Today - August 22, 2000
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .