Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Another Anti-Woman Nominee
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved another one of President Bush’s far-right, anti-woman judicial nominees late last week. Tim Tymkovich, a lawyer from Denver who has been a strong opponent of women’s rights, abortion rights and gay rights, was approved with a party line vote of 10-6, with three Democrats not voting. The full Senate will next consider Tymkovich’s nomination to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, although a vote has yet to be scheduled.
In Hern v. Beye, Tymkovich argued that the state of Colorado should not have to provide Medicaid funds for poor Colorado women seeking abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. When his arguments were denied by the lower court and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Tymkovich took the case all the way to the US Supreme Court – which refused to hear it. Three months later, he testified before a US Senate panel that a federal law requiring Colorado provide Medicaid funds to poor women for abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest was “federal intrusion into matters of state concern,” according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Tymkovich also appealed a case to the US Supreme Court in which he argued that the plaintiffs in Roberts v. Colorado State Board of Agriculture, who were claiming that the discontinuation of funding for a girls’ fast pitch softball team violated Title IX, had to prove intentional discrimination in order to have a viable claim. After the lower court and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Tymkovich’s arguments were a misinterpretation of Title IX, Tymkovich continued to appeal this case to the high court – which refused to hear the case.
As the former Solicitor General of Colorado, Tymkovich defended the state’s anti-gay Amendment 2 – which later was invalidated by the US Supreme Court. Tymkovich argued that the Amendment 2 only prohibited “special rights” for gay and lesbian individuals and cited statistics that showed that gay and lesbian individuals “have higher incomes than heterosexual individuals and claimed, therefore, that there was no need for anti-discrimination protection,” according to the AAUW.
The Feminist Majority joins a large coalition of women’s rights, civil rights, gay and lesbian rights and other progressive groups in opposing Tymkovich’s lifelong nomination to the court of last resort for Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .