Anti-Women Judicial Nominee Approved by Senate Committee
The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved by a 10-9 partly-line vote the nomination of anti-women Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Owen, who was defeated in committee last session because of her poor record on women’s and civil rights, was re-nominated by the Bush administration as part of an ongoing campaign to stack the nation’s courts with far-right judges. Owen now faces a full Senate vote.
Following the committee vote, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) told the New York Times that Owen “would be a good candidate for a filibuster.” Senate Democrats are currently leading a filibuster against another of Bush’s right-wing judicial nominees, Miguel Estrada, who has been nominated to serve on the DC Court of Appeals. Democrats say the filibuster will only end when Estrada reveals his views on critical issues such as abortion and civil rights. Many Senate Democrats have argued that his refusal to answer questions about his views impedes the Senate from having the information necessary to carry out its constitutional “advise-and-consent” duties in confirming presidential appointments. The filibuster has lasted for almost two months, with Democrats defeating three cloture votes (votes to close debate). Republicans plan another cloture vote for early next week, and hinted of a “nuclear” plan to advance Bush’s court-stacking plan, according to the Washington Times.
Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for Carolyn Kuhl, a Bush nominee the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose record is clearly anti-women’s rights. As a member of the Reagan administration’s Department of Justice, Kuhl coauthored an amicus brief in the case of Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists urging full-scale rejection of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion rights in this country. She also filed an amicus. brief on behalf of the American Academy of Medical Ethics in support of the gag rule—the US policy that prevents clinics receiving US funds from providing, counseling, or promoting abortion, even if these activities are funded with separate monies. Kuhl also has argued for a narrower definition of sexual harassment.
The Feminist Majority joins a wide variety of women’s rights, civil rights, consumer rights, environmental, labor and other progressive groups in opposing the confirmations of Owen, Estrada, and Kuhl.
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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. . . .
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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. . . .