Bush Renominates 7 Judicial Nominees Previously Blocked by Senate Democrats
On Monday, President Bush renominated seven of the ten judicial nominees that were blocked by Democratic filibusters during his first term because of their extreme right-wing records. An additional five of the 20 nominations sent to the Senate yesterday include nominees whose confirmations were slowed because of Democratic opposition to their ultra-conservative backgrounds. “The President is at it again with extremist judges,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, according to the New York Times. “We should not divert attention from other pressing issues facing this nation to redebate the merits of nominees already found too extreme by this chamber.”
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has threatened to employ a “nuclear option” which would end the use of a filibuster on judicial nominations by requiring only a simple 51-vote majority. There are currently 55 Republican members of the Senate; it takes 60 votes to overturn a filibuster.
The judicial candidates renominated by Bush include William Pryor, who called the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history," and "the day seven members of our high court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children"; Janice Rogers Brown, who voted in favor of California's parental consent statute and voted against a ruling that would stop racially discriminatory speech in a work place because, she wrote, racist remarks at work are protected by the First Amendment; and William Myers, who was opposed not only for his views on reproductive rights but also because of his decades of fighting for the rights of cattle ranchers and the mining industry over the protection of the environment and the rights of Native Americans.
The Feminist Majority is part of a broad coalition of women’s rights, civil rights, reproductive rights, environmental, disability, and labor groups urging Senate Democrats to filibuster extreme right-wing judicial nominees.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .