Dems Vow to Continue Estrada Opposition, Feminist Groups Urge Call-in
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) broke rank yesterday with key Senate Democrats, lending his support for the nomination of Bush’s right-wing DC Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Miguel Estrada. Despite the loss, Senate Democrats are standing firm against Bush’s court-packing strategy; the chamber is embroiled in a third week of political stalemate.
Feminist and progressive groups throughout the country, including the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary, the US Hispanic Leadership Institute, and the United Farm Workers of America, are pledging continued persistence in opposing Estrada, who adamantly refuses to answer questions about his views. Last weekend, the White House, arguing that opposition to Estrada could cost Democrats Latino votes, urged Democrats to end the gridlock. However, Latina feminist activist Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, countered in the Oregonian, “I for one am not too proud of a man who is unconcerned about the discrimination that many Latinos live with every day. I am not especially proud of a man whose political friends—the ones fighting hardest to put him on the court—are also fighting to abolish affirmative action and to make it harder if not impossible for federal courts to protect the rights and safety of workers and women and anyone with little power and only the hope of the courts to protest their legal rights.” Meanwhile, the administration has not budged on releasing Estrada’s Justice Department memos.
The Feminist Majority joins the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights in announcing a National Call-in Day, urging senators to oppose the Bush court-packing scheme and oppose Miguel Estrada as well as Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Jeffrey Sutton.
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. . . .