Fourteen years after first being nominated to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, controversial US District Court Judge Terrence Boyle will face a vote on the Senate floor. Boyle was first nominated by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, but Democrats blocked the nomination, setting off a chain of events in which former Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) blocked Clinton-era appointees from North Carolina for eight years. Boyle had previously worked as an aide to Senator Helms. Boyle was voted out of committee on Thursday, meaning his nomination will move to a vote on the Senate floor.
Democrats have said that the party-line committee vote makes a filibuster of Boyle a possibility, although they have not said whether they intend to filibuster this nomination. According to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Boyle’s rulings have been overturned by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals more than 150 times, and he has issued numerous opinions hostile to affirmative action, women’s rights, fair employment, and voting rights. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) told the Associated Press that he could not see approving the nomination, as “it really appears that he’s not a very good district court judge.”
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. . . .
10/30/2014 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. . . .