On Monday, President Bush nominated Title IX critic Thomas Griffith of Utah to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the second most powerful court in the country. Griffith is currently the senior legal counsel for the Mormon-affiliated Brigham Young University and served as the director of religious education for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) in Baltimore, the Washington Post reports. Griffith was a member of the President's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics that recommended weakening enforcement of Title IX , the landmark 1972 law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education.
USA Today reports that while on the Commission, Griffith proposed removing the proportionality test as one of the three test options for schools to comply with Title IX athletics requirements. Griffith's proposal failed by a vote of 11-4. When asked by another commission member how his position stands up to the eight federal courts that have upheld the use of the proportionality test, Griffith replied, "They said it was a reasonable interpretation, not required. I believe they're wrong."
"Title IX has been instrumental in providing equal opportunities for women and girls in education, including sports. Such a detractor of equal opportunity in education must not be given this position of power to gut Title IX," warns FMF Educational Equity Director Sue Klein. "This is yet another in a line of attempts by this Administration to diminish the effectiveness of Title IX. In March, the Administration proposed weakening Title IX regs by making it significantly easier for schools to segregate classes and even schools by sex."
The Feminist Majority is working as part of a coalition of women's rights, civil rights, environment, disability rights, and labor groups to stop the federal courts from being packed with far-right nominees.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .