During Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for the Solicitor General position in the Department of Justice, Democrats interrogated conservative ideologue nominee Theodore B. Olson regarding his anti-woman’s rights, anti-affirmative action history. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked Olson the pointed question, “Could it be your agenda to overturn Roe v. Wade?” Olson responded, “It is not my agenda to seek an opportunity to overturn” Roe. However, Committee democrats expressed skepticism about Olson’s ability to be impartial on issues of affirmative action, abortion, woman’s rights, and ecological preservation. “I can’t find any parallel in history of anyone who has been so actively partisan in his legal practice and then went on to be the Solicitor General,” said Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL).
The Solicitor General represents the US government before the Supreme Court and plays a key role in deciding in which cases the US will intervene. Some see the solicitor general as a 10th Justice and a stepping-stone to nominating a conservative Justice to the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Olson’s confirmation for Solicitor General as soon as April 26.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation; Kaiser Family Foundation - April 6, 2001; Nando Media – April 6, 2001; Associated Press – April 6, 2001
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .