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.
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. . . .