As the Senate wraps up business in the last week before its traditional month-long summer recess, the Senate Republican leadership has voiced plans to bring several contentious judicial nominations to the floor for a vote.
Senate Republicans are expected to file a cloture motion today on William Pryor, President Bush’s extremist right-wing nominee to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, according to CongressDaily. Pryor's nomination, which could be blocked by a Senate filibuster, could come to the floor for a vote on Wednesday. "We're ready to go," Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told CongressDaily. "I think the majority leader is ready to go.” Pryor was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee just last week in a party-line vote.
On Friday, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, filed a third cloture motion on Priscilla Owen, President Bush's far-right nominee to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Senate Democrats have held a filibuster on Owen since April, despite two attempts by Senate Republicans to break that filibuster with a cloture vote.
Currently a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, Owen was rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee last year for her consistently anti-women's rights and anti-workers' rights rulings. Despite this, Bush renominated Owen after the Republicans won control of the Senate in the 2002 elections.
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
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