Senate Panel Splits on Right-Wing Solicitor General
The Senate Judiciary Committee split along party lines yesterday on the nomination of Right-Wing lawyer Theodore B. Olson for Solicitor General*. Democrats objected to Olson’s nomination on the grounds that Olson is suspected of giving false or misleading testimony in several cases, including one where he denied involvement in the American Spectator’s “Arkansas-Project” to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton’s activities in Arkansas. Project accounting records show payments to Olson’s law firm exceeding $14 thousand in 1994.
Olson has argued to uphold gender discrimination against women in the Virginia Military Institute (loss), to strike down the University of Texas’s affirmative action policy (win), and to stop the counting of Florida ballots in last year’s election (win). Olson is a leader of the Federalist Society in Washington, DC and served as George Bush’s attorney before the Supreme Court in the Bush v. Gore case that decided the 2000 presidential election. Olson’s wife, Barbara, has waged a public campaign against the Clintons and is the author of a best-selling diatribe against Hillary Clinton, “Hell to Pay.”
*The Solicitor General represents the United States in cases brought before the Supreme Court. The US government is involved in about two-thirds of Supreme Court cases, making the Solicitor General a key player in the Justice system. The position is sometimes referred to as “the Tenth Justice.”
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .