Senate Approves (53-45) Another Right-Wing Extremist Judge
Less than 24 hours after the Senate voted to confirm extreme right-wing Judge Janice Rogers Brown to sit on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the Senate has confirmed yet another of President Bush's far-right nominees. William J. Pryor, Jr. was confirmed by the Senate today for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Pryor, like Brown, had been blocked by Democratic filibusters and then re-nominated by Bush. Pryor was confirmed on a vote of 53 to 45 with Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Lincoln Chaffee (VT) joining with Democrats in voting no and Democrats Ben Nelson (NE) and Ken Salazar (CO) voting for confirmation.
Pryor is a staunch advocate of states' rights who has openly voiced opposition to women's rights and gay rights. He has 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." He reaffirmed these statements at his Senate confirmation hearings. As Alabama Attorney General, Pryor challenged the constitutionality of the Violence Against Women Act and later wrote an article stating that the federal government should remove itself from efforts to protect women against violence.
"In voting to confirm William J. Pryor, Jr. to the Eleventh Circuit today, the Republican controlled Senate has joined President Bush in sending a grim message that women's rights and and civil rights are in grave danger" said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .