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.
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. . . .