Olson Vote Proves Dems Have the Votes to Sustain Filibuster
Senator James Jeffords’ party switch to become Independent overshadowed the Senate vote on Ted Olson, who was confirmed as U.S. Solicitor General last night. “Once again, the Democrats are showing that they have enough votes to filibuster right-wing nominees to federal appointments, but chose not to in Olson’s case,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “The extremely close 51-47 vote shows a willingness to stand up for principle, and represents an increase since the Ashcroft vote, when only 42 Senators voted against the conservative nominee,” Smeal continued. As the fight for the Supreme Court nominees approaches, Smeal suggested, pro-choice and women’s rights advocates can be hopeful that the struggle is winnable.
Olson, a conservative, anti-women’s rights, anti-affirmative action attorney, is well-known for arguing the Bush v. Gore case before the Supreme Court. He also unsuccessfully argued a case on behalf of the Virginia Military Institute and its policy of sex discrimination.
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. . . .