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.
6/18/2013 Supreme Court Strikes Down Proof of Citizenship Voter Requirements - On Monday, the United States Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship before being allowed register to vote.
In an opinion written [PDF] by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court ruled that the Arizona statute violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA, also known as the "Motor Voter Law") of 1993, which created a federal form that individuals can mail in to register to vote in federal elections. . . .
6/18/2013 Pakistani Women's University Bus, Hospital Bombed - A bus for a women's university in Pakistan and the hospital that treated victims from the blast were bombed on Saturday, killing 14 students and 24 others at the hospital.
The bus was transporting female students and teachers from Sardar Bahadur Khan Women's University in Quetta, located in the southwestern part of Pakistan. . . .
6/18/2013 Taliban Attack In Afghan Capital As NATO Transfers Power - Yesterday, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) transferred responsibility for the country's security forces to the Afghan government after a bomb blast targeting a political official left three civilians dead in Kabul. . . .