Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said this weekend on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he opposes ending the use of the filibuster on judicial nominees. However, he qualified his statement by saying that he will “listen to [Republican] leadership.” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is a major proponent of the so-called “nuclear option,” which would to prevent filibusters on judicial nominees - including Supreme Court nominees - by requiring only a simple 51-vote majority to close debate and move to a vote on the judges. Present rules require 60 votes to close the debate.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), also appearing on “Face the Nation,” said that the Senate “should not become a rubber stamp for the President.” Reid and women’s rights, civil rights, and other progressive leaders and activists, including the Feminist Majority, rallied at the Supreme Court last week to protest the so-called "nuclear option." Over one million petitions were delivered to Frist and Reid in opposition to ending the right to filibuster extreme judicial nominees.
"A weak majority in the Senate, together with the President, are trying to not only stack the federal courts with right-wing, anti-women’s rights appointments, but also to silence a minority in the Senate, which actually represents, in state populations, more people than the majority in the Senate," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, who joined Senator Reid in protest. "For women this could be catastrophic, because we stand to lose the gains of the last 40 years, especially our right to reproductive choice and our hard-won protections against sex discrimination."
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. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .