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.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .