Hearing, Vote Scheduled for Right-Wing Judicial Nominees
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on Carolyn Kuhl, a Bush nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose record is anti-women’s rights. Kuhl, who has a long record of opposing reproductive rights, is the latest example of Bush’s effort to stack the nation’s courts with far-right ideologues.
As a member of the Reagan administration’s Department of Justice, Kuhl coauthored an amicus brief urging full-scale rejection of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion rights in the US. The brief stated: “the textual, doctrinal and historical basis for Roe v. Wade is so far flawed... that this [Supreme] Court should reconsider that decision and on reconsideration abandon it.” Kuhl’s opposition to reproductive rights extends even to contraception. In addition, Kuhl has argued for a narrower definition of sexual harassment.
The Senate has also scheduled a vote on the nomination of Tim Tymkovich, a lawyer from Denver who has been a strong opponent of women’s rights, abortion rights and gay rights, to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Tymkovich has argued that the state of Colorado should not have to provide Medicaid funds to Colorado women seeking abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. In addition, 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 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 wide variety of women’s rights, civil rights, consumer rights, environmental, labor, gay rights, and other progressive groups in opposing the confirmations of Kuhl and Tymkovich.
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. . . .