Bush Nominates Two More Right-Wing Candidates for Federal Judgeships
In his continued effort to pack the courts with far-right ideologues, President Bush recently nominated two more candidates to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals "whose views seem well to the right of the legal and political mainstream," the New York Times wrote in an editorial. "I'm not prejudging them, but from what I know, they both look like they're coming straight out of the ideological judicial activist factory," Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) told the Associated Press.
One candidate, Brett Kavanaugh, 38, who acted as associate counsel under Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, has absolutely no judicial experience. Best known for his efforts to impeach President Clinton, Kavanaugh is currently working as staff secretary to Bush. The other, California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, is an African-American woman who is best known for her opposition to affirmative action. In 2000, Brown wrote a decision that interprets Proposition 209 - the California voter initiative that bars racial preferences - that was described by the court's chief justice as "a serious distortion of history," wrote the Times. Brown also opposed the California high court's 1997 decision that allowed teenagers to obtain abortions without the consent of a parent or a judge, according to Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report.
Kavanaugh and Brown have been nominated to a court that is generally considered the second most powerful court in the nation and a steppingstone to the US Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans filed a cloture petition on the nomination of William Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals with a vote expected tomorrow.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .