Last year, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson issued a preliminary injunction against the anti-affirmative action Proposition 209, thus temporarily keeping California affirmative action programs in place until the Courts settled the proposition’s constitutionality. Now, a conservative 9th Circuit Court of Appeal panel’s refusal to hear full arguments before it decides whether or not to overturn the injunction has led many legal analysts to predict that the panel will overturn the injunction and effectively wipe-out California’s affirmative action programs. The conservative make up of the panel also has many legal analysts accusing the pro-209 forces of "judge shopping" to obtain a favorable ruling. Although many believe that the judges on the panel believe that 209 is constitutional, as a "motions panel" they can only overturn the injunction if believe that the District Judge "abused his discretion" in ordering the injunction. As Erwin Chemerinsky, a USC Law Professors explains, "[the judges would have to find] that Henderson doesn’t know the law…I think it would be extremely difficult to fund an abuse of discretion."
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. . . .