Henderson Allowed to Continue to Hear Prop 209 Suit
A federal judge in San Francisco ruled on January 14 that Judge Thelton Henderson can continue to hear the lawsuit against Proposition 209, the anti-affirmative action measure in California. Responding to objections that Henderson’s past membership of the American Civil Liberties Union would taint his ruling of the measure, U.S. District Judge Fern Smith said that Henderson’s “past membership in an organization which supports affirmative action does not render him unable to preside fairly over any case involving the question of affirmative action.” The group objecting to Henderson presiding over the case may appeal Smith’s decision.
Henderson issued a preliminary injunction blocking Prop 209 on December 23, putting the ruling on hold until a trial determines its constitutionality. Opponents of the measure have argued that Prop 209 violates the Constitution by keeping women and people of color from programs that would rectify discrimination while not keeping such opportunities from veterans and other groups.
Media Resources: The San Francisco Chronicle - January 15, 1997
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. . . .