In a vote of 51 to 46 yesterday, the Senate confirmed James Leon Holmes to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Holmes, who once wrote that "...a wife is to subordinate herself to her husband," holds far-right views on reproductive rights, the role of women, and separation of church and state. The confirmation vote had been previously postponed due to possible concerns among some Republican senators, reports People for the American Way. These concerns manifested in a vote that crossed party lines, with 5 Republicans - Chafee (RI), Collins (ME), Hutchison (TX), Snowe (ME), and Warner (VA) - voting against Holmes, and 6 Democrats - Breaux (LA), Landrieu (LA), Lincoln (AR), Miller (GA), Nelson (NE), and Pryor (AR) - voting for confirmation.
Holmes' record reflects his extreme anti-choice views. Holmes believes that both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were wrongly decided because they run counter to 'natural law.' He has compared pro-choice advocates to Nazis and abortion to slavery and has indirectly labeled abortion providers 'criminals.' Additionally, Holmes has refused to allow exemptions for abortion to victims of rape. "Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami," Holmes once callously stated. In fact, studies show that 25,000 to 32,000 women become pregnant each year in the US as a result of rape. Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, told the LA Times that he considers Holmes "intolerant" and likely to "pursue an anti-abortion agenda and other conservative causes from the bench."
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .