Judiciary Committee to Consider Two Anti-Women Nominees Tomorrow
Two appellate court nominees opposed by the Feminist Majority and a wide range of women’s rights and civil rights groups are scheduled to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, the New York Times reported today. The two nominees are Dennis Shedd to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and Michael McConnell to the Tenth Circuit.
"It is crucial that we alert the feminist community to what is happening with the courts of this land,” declared Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. “Already, we have lost the majority of circuit courts – they are being stacked with judges hostile to women and women's rights. This will be a long-lasting legacy... these appointments are for life. Therefore, it is imperative that more moderate judicial appointments fill the empty seats."
McConnell has repeatedly advocated the reversal of Roe v. Wade and has openly stated that he believes Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional. He signed a statement of pro-life principle and concern that calls for embryos to be considered persons under the law. In addition, he applauded a judge for not following the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE).
With a limited record on reproductive rights, Judge Shedd has refused to say that he believes that the Constitution guarantees a woman’s right to choose. However, in 1997 Shedd did vote against the right to privacy that forms the basis of Roe v. Wade when he ruled against the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) – a law that protects women, abortion providers and others from violence by barring state department of motor vehicles from releasing personal information about an individual without their consent. According to the Charleston Chapter of the National Organization for Women, Shedd has also characteristically ruled against plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases, gender discrimination cases and civil rights cases.
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. . . .