Bush Nominates Ultra Conservative for Solicitor General
Theodore Olson, the ultra-conservative lawyer who represented President Bush in Bush v. Gore—the Florida election case that ultimately gave Bush the presidency—has been nominated for the position of Solicitor General in the US Justice Department. As Solicitor General, Olson would be responsible for developing the government’s position on cases and would argue many cases before the US Supreme Court. This responsibility and Olson’s ultra-conservative anti-woman’s rights history have alarmed many women’s rights and abortion rights groups who worry Olson could facilitate law suits that would limit abortion access or even overturn Roe v. Wade.
Olson is best known for his anti-affirmative action and anti-woman’s rights cases. Olson represented a white student who sued the University Texas claiming the school’s affirmative action policy was unconstitutional. Olson also defended Virginia Military Institute’s policy of prohibiting women from being admitted to the all male academy—Olson lost this case. If the Senate confirms Olson as Solicitor General, the possibility of being nominated to the US Supreme Court increases.
Media Resources: New York Times – February 14, 2001; Washington Post – February 15, 2001; LA Times – February 15, 2001
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. . . .